Opposition Criticizes Government’s Intention to Postpone Budget Approval

YERUSHALAYIM -
MK Rabbi Moshe Gafni. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Sharp criticism was leveled Sunday morning during a discussion in the Knesset Constitution Committee amending the Basic Law of the Knesset, according to which the time for approving the state budget will be extended from 100 days to 135 days from the date of the government’s inauguration.

Among others, Chairman of United Torah Judaism, MK Rabbi Moshe Gafni, said at the hearing that “this is the classic example of my claims that when the Finance Minister is from the same party as the Chairman of the Finance Committee, the citizens and the people of Israel are the ones who are harmed.” MKs Simcha Rotman and Moshe Arbel also objected to the coalition’s demand to extend the time when there is no budget for the state, and the opposition as a whole has submitted thousands of reservations to the law.

According to the bill, in circumstances where there were elections to the Knesset, the dissolution of the Knesset or the expression of confidence in a new government, before a state budget is approved, the period for approving the budget law will be extended to three months from the beginning of the budget year.

If the government has placed the budget law on the Knesset table before the 85th day of its establishment, the period for approving the budget law will be 50 days from the date of the discount. In counting these periods, the dates of Israel and their evenings will not be counted. The goal of the coalition is in fact to extend the length of time required to pass the budget in three readings based on a postponement following the Tishrei chagim.

Following the opposition’s claims, the chairman, MK Gilad Karib, announced that an agreement had been reached with the Treasury that the proposed period would be extended from 50 days to 60 days, not at the expense of the government’s days, i.e. 10 days would be added to the maximum time.

Karib announced that later Sunday the committee is expected to approve the law for second and third readings. Opposition members argued that the limited time frame for requiring the law to be approved within a day would undermine government oversight.