Steinitz, Sa'ar reach budget compromise

Steinitz, Saar reach bu

After Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar threatened to resign following a government discussion of proposed cuts to the budgets of several ministries, a compromise was reached Thursday afternoon. The Education Ministry's budget will now be cut in 2010, not 2009, and only by one percent - 75% less than had initially been proposed. The compromise was reached after Sa'ar and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz debated the proposed cut throughout the morning hours. Other government ministries will be cut by 2%, the amount initially intended to be also reduced from the budget of Sa'ar's ministry. On Wednesday, Sa'ar said his ministry's budget had reached "a red line, like the Kinneret," and that he didn't know if he could remain in his position if the initially proposed cut was implemented. Steinitz said he was opposed to breaking the budget's legislated limits, and that the shortfall of funds due to the reduced cut could be made up from other budget surpluses. "Breaking the limits will be an ill omen for investors and may hurt the reliability of the Israeli market and Israel's credit rating," he said.