Israeli Parliament propels long stagnant state budget discussions


Discussions over Israel’s state budget were opened at Parliament on Tuesday, after years of a political deadlock that has prevented the approval of a new budget.

“We have waited for this moment for three and a half years,” Finance Minister Avigdor Lieberman told the Knesset (Parliament) at the start of the discussions, noting that the last time the parliament approved a new spending package took place in March 2018.

He said that Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s new government has worked on bringing a new budget since the day it had been inaugurated, reports Xinhua news agency.

Speaking to journalists on Sunday, Lieberman said that he was hopeful that the Knesset would ratify the government’s proposal for the 2021-2022 state budget by Friday.

Lieberman said that the proposed budget includes a plan to lower the country’s high housing costs by rapidly increasing the supply of new apartments.

Under the plan, some 280,000 homes will be constructed by 2025.

In the coming days, the lawmakers would hold marathon discussions until the final vote.

The opposition, led by ousted leader Benjamin Netanyahu, is expected to put up a struggle to prevent the approval of the budget.

If the Knesset failed to approve the budget by November 14, the Knesset could be dispersed and snap elections would be called.