"We won't raise taxes, and I pledge that the deficit won't significantly exceed the target," Minister of Finance Moshe Kahlon said today following concerns about Israel's soaring budget deficit.
He added, "Israel's economy is stronger than ever and how I wish that all areas in the State of Israel and all parts of the country were strong like the economy. Regarding the deficit - a deficit is measured from year to year. I've no doubt that we will meet the deficit target, and I have personally served for three and a half years as Minister of Finance and we have solved bigger crisis than these and I pledge that the deficit will not deviate in a significant way. We haven't breached the expenses framework, the economy is stable, and the economy is strong."
"This media campaign presses and tries to pressure us in one direction - to raise taxes for Israel's citizens. The tax burden is heavy for workers, especially the middle class, and we have no intention and the headlines can shout at us as much as they want - we have no plans to raise tax. I have managed this system for the past three and a half years and we have brought it together with the finance ministry staff to the best achievements that the State of Israel has ever known and that's the way that we will continue."
According to figures published by the Ministry of Finance on Monday, the budget deficit over the past 12 months has jumped to 3.6% of GDP, which is about NIS 40 billion. These figures have been interpreted as a sign that the government has for the first time breached the budget deficit target of 2.9% for 2018. Those close to Kahlon insist that the government budget deficit for 2018 will in the end be about 3%.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on November 7, 2018
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