Finance Minister calls to slash the defense budget

"Despite all the challenges we face, we'll continue to pursue a responsible fiscal policy."

Minister of Finance Ronnie Bar-On told the cabinet yesterday that it was necessary to slash the defense budget, even at the price of missing the Brodet committee targets, which necessitated adding NIS 100 billion to the defense budget over the next ten years. "Among other things, we must ask whether we went too far with the defense budget framework we undertook with the Brodet committee, and the social costs it involves," he said.

Bar-On added, "Along with all the challenges we face, we'll continue to pursue a responsible fiscal policy that emphasizes a rapid and steady reduction of the debt/GDP ratio as the necessary condition for ensuring the functioning of the defense establishment in times of crisis, and to free up resources for social issues."

Bar-On said, "The good of the economy requires maintaining economic stability and the necessary conditions of certainty, despite the global economic slowdown and political developments."

Bar-On told the ministers that a deep budget cut was necessary, although he declined to say how much, because of the major commitments undertaken by Israeli governments in recent years.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on June 11, 2008

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2008

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