Sunday, August 12, 2007

2008 Budget Bickering


OK, here is the continuing drama of the budget. Now, before you get bored and start looking off into space, please realize that no budget means no government. If Olmert can’t get a budget together, new elections must be called.

So, all these “religious” parties that can’t seem to do the right thing for the right reason (pull out of the government to save Israel being given away to terrorists) might do the right thing (pull out of the government) for the wrong reason (anything else) if we are lucky.

Let’s all pray hard that Olmert can’t get a budget together, that there is a complete impasse, and that Omert is out of office soon.


Olmert: Can't Please Everyone with 2008 Budget

( Not everyone is going to be pleased with the proposed 2008 budget, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told government ministers at the opening of the weekly Sunday morning cabinet meeting.

“The budget takes care of three issues,” said Olmert, “security, social welfare and education.” Olmert said he could not remember a situation in which all of the ministers in the government “smiled and said ‘This is what we wanted.’”

Yishai: Shas Will Veto Budget

( Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor Eli Yishai met with heads of organizations representing disabled Israelis Sunday morning, during a demonstration against the 2008 budget by the groups in Jerusalem.

Minister Yishai told the group leaders that his Shas (Sephardic religious) party would oppose the budget in its present form.

“We will vote today against the budget, and we will continue the struggle against the budget cuts in the Knesset as well,” Yishai told the protestors.

Mofaz Walks Out of Cabinet Meeting

( Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz walked out of the cabinet meeting Sunday morning, angered by a cut in the Road Safety Authority budget in the proposed 2008 government budget.

Traffic police were scheduled for an emergency meeting Sunday due to a wave of road accidents that left seven people dead over the weekend. The number of traffic-related deaths has reached 267 since January 2007.

Gil Pensioners Party to Veto Budget
( Pensioners Party (Gil) faction head Moshe Sharoni said Sunday he will recommend that his party’s Knesset members vote against the 2008 budget and Economic Arrangements Law passed Sunday by the cabinet.

“I don’t mean to lend my hand to such brutal harm to the weak and vulnerable populations,” said Sharoni, [including] “the elderly, Holocaust survivors and polio victims.”

Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Eli Yishai also said his Shas Sephardic religious party would vote against the budget as well.

Histadrut Threatens Strike on Budget Law

( The Histadrut national labor union will order a general strike if changes are not made to the 2008 budget and Economic Arrangements law passed Sunday morning by the cabinet, according to Army Radio. The union has threatened strikes in a variety of public sectors in recent months, mostly over stalled wage talks.

The Economics Arrangements Law is the supplementary legislation that acts as a rider to the annual budget. It contains approximately 100 clauses covering various aspects of life in Israel.

Yishai is Second Minister to Leave Cabinet Meeting

( Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Eli Yishai was the second cabinet minister to walk out of the weekly Sunday meeting over the 2008 budget.

Yishai said Sunday morning that he would not support the budget in its current form and promised representatives of the Israel Association for Disabled Persons that his party would oppose the budget in the Knesset as well.

Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz earlier in the day walked out of the meeting over cuts to the Road Safety Authority budget.

Defense Budget Approved

( The 2008 defense budget presented to the cabinet Sunday totaled NIS 50.5 billion, with half a million shekels allocated to the remaining 2007 security budget.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Finance Minister Ronnie Bar-On agreed on the budget, which includes a sum of NIS 1.3 billion to be paid over 2009.

The total proposed government budget is NIS 304 billion

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