After heated debate, Knesset’s Finance Committee approves 2021-2022 budget laws for 2nd and 3rd readings

October 28, 2021 by Aryeh Savir - TPS
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After a fiery session at the Knesset’s Finance Committee and after battles between the coalition and opposition, the Committee approved on Wednesday night the budget laws for 2021-2022 for second and third readings at the plenum.

Israeli shekel bills. Credit: Nati Shohat/Flash90.

Committee chairman Member Knesset (MK) Alex Kushnir stated that the committee “went through a very, very significant process here, first of all for the state, when the last budget received here was in March 2018,” and claimed that the budget “has a lot of good news, along with the Arrangements Law with a lot of reforms.”

After six hours of discussions on several hundred reservations, out of about 30,000 reservations submitted by the opposition, Kushnir moved to end the session and vote. The opposition members rejected the offer and protested the supposed loss of their democratic rights.

After a break and talks between the parties, the two sides reached agreements regarding the allocation of coalition funds for various purposes at the request of the opposition. The opposition then withdrew several thousand reservations. The committee voted on the budget laws, and the laws were approved for a second and third reading.

Political pundits in Israel estimate that the Bennett coalition stands a chance at passing the budget in its final reading. The coalition has until November 14 to do so, or it falls by default.

However, they predict that after the budget is passed, the various opposing factions within the government will attempt to advance their own agendas, which are opposed by other coalition members, creating friction and political instability in an already flimsy setting.

The latest polls show Netanyahu’s Likud party gaining momentum with 35 seats, and Bennett’s party just passing the electoral threshold with only four seats.

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