Yacimovich to Lapid: Provide more info on budget

Labor leader asks finance minister for transparency on budget process so that Knesset can properly debate issue.

Opposition leader Shelly Yacimovich presents her red line 37 (photo credit: marc israel sellem)
Opposition leader Shelly Yacimovich presents her red line 37
(photo credit: marc israel sellem)
Finance Minister Yair Lapid must provide MKs with more information so they can seriously discuss the budget, opposition leader Shelly Yacimovich (Labor) said on Sunday.
The Labor chairwoman wrote a letter to Lapid saying that only “the full factual infrastructure will allow for significant parliamentary discussion based on data.” Yacimovich pointed out that the Knesset’s committees will soon begin working intensively on the budget and Economic Arrangements Law.
“This is a process that is structurally superficial and hasty, unfortunately, because of the makeup of the Economic Arrangements Law, which I oppose: A law consisting of reforms, cuts, and the cancellation of laws all at once, instead of a deep discussion of each article while examining alternatives and repercussions,” she said.
The opposition leader added that she was pleased to hear Lapid say the discussion should be based on facts and data. As such, she asked for Lapid to transfer information to the Knesset and make the details of his proposals more transparent.
The data Yacimovich requested makes up the macroeconomic basis of the 2013- 2014 budget, and includes the expected rates of growth, inflation, unemloyment, and the change in average wages.
Yacimovich also asked that the Finance Ministry report deficit targets, automatic expenditures on legislation, government decisions and agreements binding the state in 2013-2014.
The Finance Ministry should also reveal how the spending limit, revenue forecast and expected deficit were calculated, she added.
“Only presenting all of the facts will allow MKs to fully do their job,” Yacimovich wrote to Lapid. “I am sure that you, too, see the great importance in this.”
In March, the Bank of Israel released economic forecasts for 2013-2014 that included GDP growth and inflation, though projections for other aspects of the data Yacimovich requested were not readily available.
The Finance Ministry did not respond to questions as to why the data had not been made available.
Niv Elis contributed to this report.