Avigdor Liberman: There won't be tax hikes

Avigdor Liberman in the Ministry of Finance Photo: Finance Ministry Spokesperson

On his first day in office as Finance Minister, Liberman pledged economic restraint and no tax hikes.

After the handover ceremony at the Ministry of Finance, Yisrael Beitenu chairman and new Minister of Finance Avigdor Liberman attended a party faction meeting at the Knesset and spoke about his priorities. "We will pass a budget and we will manage it in a responsible and statesman-like way," he said. "There won't be tax hikes and there won't be any lack of restraint on economic matters."

Asked by "Globes" about how he would manage the budget together with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, he said, "Even before the government was sworn in, we sat together for a long time and spoke about the economic challenges. We have 140 days to approve the budget in the Knesset, which takes us to mid-November. In the middle of that we have the religious holidays and then in practice we have to concentrate on the 2022 budget. We'll have almost no influence on the 2021 budget."

Liberman said that this afternoon at 3pm he was meeting the country's economic leaders including the Bank of Israel Governor, Histadrut chairman and Manufacturers Association president and he planned meeting them on a regular basis for roundtable discussions. He added, "I've also fixed a weekly meeting with the prime minister for economic matters."

Liberman said that he planned cancelling unpaid leave for people under 45 with an exception for the tourism sector where he would leave greater flexibility. He hoped that there would be a revival in this sector too by the end of the year. "We will make the right decisions even if they are unpopular. At the moment cancelling unpaid leave for people younger than 45, with all the pain, is the right decision for the benefit of the economy."

On political matters, he said, "Yisrael Beitenu has been in the forefront in the Knesset, the media and out on the streets. Everybody knows that Eli Avidor has been doing good work, sometimes too good. To conquer a fortified place like Balfour (the prime minister's residence) is like conquering the Bastille. Shas and United Torah Judaism will also spend a long time in opposition. We will make every effort on that matter."

Liberman has appointed Ram Belinkov as director general of the Ministry of Finance. Belinkov is a former director of the Ministry of Finance's budget division.

Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on June 14, 2021

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2021

Avigdor Liberman in the Ministry of Finance Photo: Finance Ministry Spokesperson
Avigdor Liberman in the Ministry of Finance Photo: Finance Ministry Spokesperson
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