On Friday afternoon, just hours before Shabbat, the Israeli cabinet approved Israel’s proposed budget for 2023-2024. The state budget for 2023 will amount to approximately NIS 484 billion and in 2024 to approximately NIS 513 billion.
Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich described the cabinet meeting as very heated, and he apologized to his fellow ministers that he was not able to fulfill everyone’s demands, but added that the proposed budget is a responsible one, and there will be 4 years to do more and implement more of what his fellow ministers will want to do.
FM Smotrich released the statement stating (Google Translate):
“Citizens of Israel, we formed a government together less than two months ago, and each of the partners in the government has large and broad work plans. Today we took a first and important step in the right direction.
Today we in the government passed a two-year budget and an economic plan and this is a good step for the State of Israel, good for the Israeli economy and good for the citizens of Israel.
In the proposed budget we see before our eyes the great burden placed on the shoulders of the citizens of Israel and we have worked hard to fight the cost of living that makes it difficult for every citizen in Israel.
We submitted a restrained and responsible budget and met the budget frameworks as we set for ourselves, as required at this time in the turbulent waters of the global economy.
The biennial budget is biased towards growth and infrastructure and this will help, God willing, to maintain the development of the State of Israel and maintain the stability of the Israeli economy.
In the budget, we appealed to all layers of the population – from the weak populations that require relief and support through the middle class that is so important to the Israeli economy to the backbone of the Israeli economy. The upcoming budget has important news for citizens groaning under the burden, yet we have set a vision that will strengthen the financial stability of the State of Israel.
I believe in the Israeli economy, I believe in the citizens of Israel and I am proud of the result we have achieved.
I would like to thank Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the joint work and the ministers of the Israeli government for the great responsibility they showed in the process of building the budget. The ministerial responsibility of each and every one of the partners made it possible to transfer an excellent budget to the State of Israel.
Citizens of Israel, you are in good hands. With God’s help, we will pass the budget in the Knesset and will continue to work for you day and night.”
PM Benjamin Netanyahu said (Google Translate):
“I would like to thank the ministers, and all those who helped in the effort, the legal teams and the office teams. But above all and above all, the Minister of Finance. I was in this position, it’s not an easy position, and you stood your ground, to prevent a breach- and that’s important.
We want to show that the tradition we have created here in the State of Israel, of a free economy with fiscal and monetary responsibility, and coordination between the things, and the independence of the bank, these are the things that stand with us at all times, and especially at this time.
I think this budget does that, and it also does it against the backdrop of some of the best macroeconomic data I can remember in all my years in office.
Israel’s economy is strong, it is solid. With this overwhelming support of the government ministers today, it is stronger.
So thank you very much, and have a Shabbat Shalom.”
ראש הממשלה בנימין נתניהו לאחר אישור תקציב המדינה לשנים 2023-2024:
“אני מבקש להודות לשרות ולשרים, ולכל אלו שעזרו במאמץ, לצוותים המשפטיים ולצוותים המשרדיים. אבל מעל הכל ולפני הכל, לשר האוצר. הייתי בתפקיד הזה, זה לא תפקיד קל, ואתה עמדת בפרץ, כדי למנוע פריצה – וזה חשוב. pic.twitter.com/EyyBFlouD5
— ראש ממשלת ישראל (@IsraeliPM_heb) February 24, 2023
The budget will now go to the Knesset for debate and a vote.