The Cabinet and Finance Ministry held marathon meetings on Sunday evening to pass a budget – Israel's first since 2018.
“After three years in which the State of Israel operated without a budget – the most fundamental tool for managing the country – we are bringing the 2021 to 2022 state budget for approval in the government,” Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said.
While the new budget attempts to limit perks for the ultra-Orthodox community – a major criticism of Benjamin Netanyahu's government – it also raises taxes on certain items in order to "change behaviors." The proposed budget includes taxes on soda and a VAT on Netflix while a congestion fee for getting into Tel Aviv during rush hour has also been proposed.
“This is a budget that invests in the future, a budget of growth. We are investing in beneficial public transportation, in Internet infrastructure and technology, in quality education for our children, in our health system, and in our soldiers who will receive the best defense systems to deal with and defeat our enemies,” Bennett said.
The deadline to pass the budget is in November. With a majority of only one seat and heavy opposition expected, the coalition is going to need uniformity in its voting if the budget has any hope of passing the Knesset.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.