Olmert: My government is one of social change

PM expects the 2007 state budget to be approved on Wednesday without any ammendments.

ehud olmert 298.88 (photo credit: AP)
ehud olmert 298.88
(photo credit: AP)
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told a Kadima faction meeting on Monday afternoon that his government was a government of social reform, and that the proposed budget was a sign that the transformation "will go on getting stronger." The prime minister was responding to criticism leveled at approving an additional 1.9 billion US dollars to the security budget earlier in the month. He noted an addition of 2.9 billion dollars to social affairs-related budgets. Olmert said that he expected the 2007 state budget to be approved on Wednesday without any ammendments, and commended his ministers for "avoiding making changes to the budget which were not crucial to economic policy." He declared that the budget included many formulas for social reforms, including a rise in the minimum wage and the education budget. Olmert went on to recount the economical achievements of the previous year, achievements he said were "unprecedented in Israeli history." MKs Shai Hermesh (Kadima) and Orit Noked (Labor) expressed their opposition to the 2007 state budget in the Knesset. Hermesh warned that he would not support the budget if it did not include funds for the defense of the neighborhoods around Gaza. Israel Radio reported that the cost of the demand stood at NIS 300 million.