Israeli PM voices confidence in passing first budget in 3 yrs

The Israeli Parliament is expected to begin a series of voting on some 600 amendments in a marathon session that would last until the final voting on Thursday or Friday, reports Xinhua news agency.

Tel Aviv: Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has expressed confidence that his new cross-partisan coalition will pass the country’s first budget in three years by this weekend.

The Israeli Parliament is expected to begin a series of voting on some 600 amendments in a marathon session that would last until the final voting on Thursday or Friday, reports Xinhua news agency.

“We are at the finish line and before us are exhausting days and long nights in Parliament, but the budget will pass,” Bennett told a cabinet meeting.

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“Passing the budget will provide us the political and economic stability needed to deal with the major upcoming challenges, for example, the rise in fuel prices and maritime transport, and in raw materials which lead to price increases,” he said.

Bennett’s coalition, composed of eight parties with diverse ideologies, has until November 14 to get the budget approved by Parliament.

If the lawmakers fail to approve the budget by that deadline, Parliament would dissolve, triggering new elections.

The government has already passed the budget at Parliament’s finance committee, a necessary step before the final voting at the parliament planum.

However, the coalition has a razor-thin majority of 61 at the 120-member house.

The new government was sworn-in in June, ousting former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu after 12 consecutive years in office.

Netanyahu’s government last approved a new spending package in March 2018, amid the two years of political crisis and four elections.

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