Israel’s newly appointed finance minister, Yair Lapid, will present the guidelines of the 2013-14 budget to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, setting the approval process in motion.
“The finance minister will present his 2013-2014 budget proposal to the prime minister,” Lapid’s spokeswoman, Nilly Richman, said by telephone. She declined to provide any details regarding the plan. Lapid said at the beginning of the month that “tough” steps will be needed to close the budget gap.
Lapid, 49, a former TV host and columnist, was appointed finance minister three weeks ago after the Yesh Atid party he founded came in second in January’s election. The finance minister, who promised in his party’s campaign to champion the interests of the middle class, must cut billions of shekels from government-promised funding and raise taxes to meet the government’s deficit and spending limits.
Lapid’s budget proposal includes a cut of 14 billion shekels ($3.8 billion) in planned spending for 2013 and 6 billion shekels in 2014, Calcalist newspaper reported today, without saying where it got the information. The plan includes cuts in defense and social spending, and tax increases, the newspaper said.
Parliament must approve a budget by August.
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