Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Finance Minister Dr. Yuval Steinitz and Bank of Israel Governor Prof. Stanley Fischer, today met on the issue of the 2012-13 state budget.
At the end of the meeting, Prime Minister Netanyahu said: “Even after the steps that we will take, Israeli families, the middle class and the weaker groups will be left with more money. I remind you that in a few days, we will enact free education from age 3 – hundreds of thousands of families will save 800 NIS a month. We enacted tax credit points for working families worth hundreds of shekels a month, which took effect in January 2012. We enacted serious reductions in monthly cellphone bills, and we enacted free dental care for children up to age 12. This is a great change, at the end of which the majority of Israelis will be left with more money in their pockets.”
Finance Minister Steinitz said: “We are here in order to defend the Israeli economy. We see what is happening in the US, in Britain, in Spain and in Greece and we will not allow that to happen here. The most socially important thing, in addition to all of the steps that we have taken here over the past three years, is that instead of creating 160,000 jobs, the economy grew and created 330,000 jobs, double the norm. In order to continue to maintain the Israeli economy and watch over Israeli citizens, we have set a realistic deficit. We need to make every effort, and take all necessary steps, to meet it, including unpopular decisions, and we are doing so here and now next week, in order to tell the entire world, after we saw the warning about Germany’s credit rating – we are serious, we are responsible, we will continue to defend the Israeli economy and Israeli citizens from the crisis.”
Bank of Israel Governor Fischer said: “Last month I was slightly critical of the Government’s fiscal policy, but what I have seen in the last two days is very serious progress and very responsible leadership by the economic decision-makers. I hope that in a few days we will see a package that will indeed change the situation in the Israeli economy, and will allow us to continue to grow at a very impressive rate.”
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)