The Haifa city council has approved its budget for 2008 but has decided to defer NIS 100 million slated for development this year to 2009, reports Yediot Haifa. The decision will mean the delay of several major transport projects and has been strongly criticized by the municipal development company. According to the report, the Transport Ministry had offered to invest NIS 100 million in the city in 2008, but the city decided to defer the investment to next year. The Yafeh-Nof municipal development company said the decision was incomprehensible and the deferment might mean the cancellation of the projects altogether. "This is a mistake and we are likely to regret it," a company spokesman said, adding that there was no guarantee that the ministry would have the funds available next year. But city treasurer Jacky Vakim said the ministry funds were designed to cover a number of years and Haifa would get the amount it had been promised. Opposition councilors criticized the budget as devoting too little to education and welfare and too much to cosmetic changes designed with the coming municipal elections in mind.