Finance C'tee rejects defense supplement

Chairman Nissan Slomiansky: I was promised the extra would come from surplus tax, not social spending cuts.

This morning, the Knesset Finance Committee rejected the request by the Ministry of finance and the Ministry of Defense for a transfer of NIS 2.79 billion to the military as a supplement agreed between the ministries. In the course of the session it emerged that the source for the supplement was a cut in the budgets of all other government ministries, including NIS 149 million from the Ministry of Welfare and Social Services and NIS 134 million from the Ministry of Health.

Finance Committee chairman MK Nissan Slomiansky expressed resentment at the fact that he had been promised that the supplement would come out of extra tax receipts, whereas in practice the funding was coming at the expense of welfare, education and health spending. The other committee members supported Slomiansky's stance. He announced that the committee was for the time being refusing to approve the NIS 2.79 billion supplement that had been passed by the government.

"I am not prepared to approve a further transfer to defense at the expense of social ministries without receiving full, clear and transparent details of how the budgets they intend to cut will be restored. There is extra money because of surplus tax collection, and welfare, education and health budgets should not be hurt in order to finance an addition for defense," the Finance Committee chairman said.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on December 16, 2013

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2013

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