Buying time, Israeli Government will postpone decision on budget

August 10, 2020 by Aryeh Savir - TPS
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The government factions will vote on a law the postpones by 100 days the date at which a budget must be presented, buying the government time and possibly averting the fourth round of elections.

The two candidates for Israel’s prime ministership in the 2nd Elections 2019, for the 22nd Knesset: Benny Gantz of Blue and White party (L) and Benjamin Netanyahu of The Likud party (R). Sep 17, 2019. Photo by Kobi Richter/TPS

The government has until August 25 to present a budget, or the government will automatically dissolve.

From its inception a few months ago, the government has been squabbling about almost every issue, and the current issue at hand is if a one-year or two-year budget should be passed.

Benny Gantz wants a two-year budget, and Benjamin Netanyahu wants a one-year budget.

The Derech Eretz faction on Sunday evening presented a bill to postpone the presentation of the state budget by 100 days.

Both the Likud and Blue and White factions have said they will support the bill.

Derech Eretz said that the Netanyahu agreed to promote the law in a speedy process, and that “this step will allow the Likud and Blue and White the time, while advancing the law, to reach a comprehensive resolution of all disputes between them to ensure the smooth functioning of the government and prevent elections.”

The bill will be presented for a preliminary reading at the Knesset’s plenum on Wednesday.

“Elections at this time are a fatal blow to the national interest and the Israeli public. Every effort is being made to prevent the madness of going to the fourth election,” stated Minister Yoaz Hendel, of the Derech Eretz faction.

Blue and White congratulated the Likud for “its commitment to maintaining political and public stability in Israel. Blue and White will do everything in its power to prevent terrible elections from the citizens of Israel in the midst of one of the most serious crises in the country’s history.”

“The citizens of the State of Israel deserve certainty and stability at this time,” the party added.

Most political pundits say that Israel is again headed toward the fourth round of elections in a bit over a year’s time.

Elections during in Coronavirus times will prove an extremely challenging undertaking and may take as much as three days.

Polls show that Netanyahu’s Likud is in the lead with about 30 seats while Blue and white has lost most of its power and has about 10 seats.

Netanyahu may still try to avert another contentious round of elections by establishing a government of 61 members.

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