Knesset set to pass 2023-2024 budget this week

The day before the Knesset is due to give final approval to the 2023-2024 budget, Ministry of Finance sources believe that it will be passed despite objections from members of the coalition and the opposition. Sources expect that there will be a filibuster on Tuesday night and through to the early hours of Wednesday morning with strenuous objections to complying with the latest budgetary demands placed in the last minute by United Torah Judaism chairman Yitzchak Goldknopf, Otzma Yehudit chairman Itamar Ben-Gvir and Noam chairman Avi Maoz.

The Ministry of Finance explains that there is no possibility of adding money to comply with the demands of the politicians because the 2023-2024 budget proposal has already been approved by the Knesset Finance Committee for its second and third readings this week. This is after coalition financial allocations have already been stretched and increased to NIS 13.6 billion out of the state budget. Ministry of Finance officials already feel that they have been compelled to feed a excessive demands, mainly from the haredi parties and for purposes that are contrary to the ministry’s official policy – encouraging growth.

Estimates are no coalition members will vote against the budget

Estimates are that ultimately no coalition members will vote against the budget, despite the protests. Failure to pass the budget by the end of the month would result in the dissolution of the Knesset and news elections, which would entail more risks than opportunities for most of the coalition parties. However, it is possible that agreements will be reached between the parties for a compensation mechanism, for the politicians “missing out” on their demands, on transfers through Knesset committees.

According to one source, the budget dispute with Ben-Gvir differs from the dispute with Goldknopf and Maoz due to the current tensions between National Security Minister Ben-Gvir and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. According to the source, Netanyahu has no interest in further strengthening Ben-Gvir and is irritated by the way Ben-Gvir tries to “to outflank him on the right,” on security issues.

In recent weeks, Ben-Gvir has not been invited to security situation assessments, and one of the reasons why Netanyahu asked to advance the approval of the budget in the Knesset by a week (a request which the Prime Minister’s Office denies) was to avoid a situation where Ben-Gvir puts Netanyahu in a corner in the last minute with additional demands.

Published by Globes, Israel business news – – on May 22, 2023.

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd., 2023.

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