Leader of the Opposition: This is a war for our home –Either Netanyahu, Lapid and their cohorts, or the majority of the public. Lapid in response to the ”principles of our home” speech by Yachimovich: Leadership does not involve pandering to homemakers.
The Knesset Plenum authorized the Biennial Budget Law for the 2013 and 2014 Fiscal Years in its first reading and the Bill to Change National Priorities (legislative amendments for achieving budgetary goals for 2013-2014) , that the government submitted. The budget for 2013 stands at 395,032,948 NIS and in 2014 at 406,264,956 NIS.
Within the explanatory notes to the budget it was written that ”In accordance with the principles of Basic-Law: The State Economy and the Principles of the Economy Law, the government must submit for Knesset authorization the budget for the fiscal year. The budget law establishes the framework for government spending including taking on long-term financial commitments and hiring governmental staff. The law establishes the amount that the government can spend in a budgetary year, whether as an expenditure or an expenditure dependent on revenue, the allotment of debt that the government can take on beyond the current budgetary year and also the quantity of positions that the government can higher for.
The Minister of Finance, Yair Lapid, presented the Budget and Arrangements Bill at the Knesset: ”The budget that we are presenting today is not just numbers, nor is it just taxes. It`s a declaration. The budget is the best way for the government to express its viewpoints, priorities and its way of shaping society. At the center of the budget submitted to you today is the working man`s vision. It is expressed in the core curriculum that all educational institutions that are receiving money from the state must teach; it is expressed in the establishment of employment training and placement centers and the focus on systematic reforms and incentives that will increase labor force participation; it is expressed through food reforms and automobile reforms and a revolution in standards as well as numerous other measures designed to lower the cost of living; it is expressed through the fact that going out to work is now a criteria for receiving government benefits, benefits such as arnona discounts and daycare subsidies. All of this establishes an infrastructure that supports working. The more people who work, the more the burden will be split amongst all of us, the more our ability to help the weak will be strengthened and the more we will be able to continue to create an economy based on renewal and creativity which is our competitive advantage in the world.”
”In the budget that is before you there are two central goals – the first goal is to substantially respond to the deep structural deficit that the Israeli economy finds itself in, a deficit of 35 Billion NIS. This deficit might continue to grow. This Knesset is full of politicians who understand that we were not elected to do nothing, to just allow the current situation to continue as it is and to allow the government to take on more debt because later, it will be able to pay.”
”Rather, if we don`t do anything, the deficit in 2013 will reach 55.6 billion NIS and 62.2 NIS in 2014. The credit rating of Israel will be hurt, the interest rate on the debt will go up, and in place of spending billions on education and welfare, we will spend our money on paying off debt. Already today, when the interest is relatively low, we are spending 80 billion NIS on interest and commissions. We cannot allow this number to rise because, to put it simply, this is money that we`re throwing away.”
”Instead of running away from responsibility, we were elected to do the responsible thing – the Israeli economy has no other choice, rather we must get rid of this massive overdraft as fast as we can. We can do this by meeting the deficit target and limiting the government spending that was authorized here in the Knesset last week.”
”The second goal of the budget is to lay an infrastructure for building growth and trust while we are exiting the crisis. The State of Israel has a unique competitive advantage: we know how to change. There is something in our DNA that allows us to establish a new state and to receive a million and a half immigrants from Russia all at once, to shift from an agrarian society to an industrial society and from an industrial society to a high tech society, to enter and exit crises and to exit from every one of them stronger than we were before.”
”The members of the Knesset received the budget last week. Whoever read it honestly, and not just to find ways to fight with and/or to depress Israelis, knows that this budget takes the large cuts – the problem – and turns them into an opportunity. This is a budget of decreasing societal gaps and increasing the scope of participation in the workforce, the level of productivity in the economy, the sharing of the economic burden, the ending of the culture of allocations in favor of a culture of working, the return to joint ethics and values, the shrinking of bureaucracy and the streamlining of the public sector, fixing the concentration of resources in the economy as well as the cost of living so that prices will drop and the shekel will be worth more, the dropping of housing prices – parallel to the uncompromising revolution against the black market that started in the housing cabinet – in order to create a more sensible society. Not just sensible though, but also a society that is friendly to the business sector, that doesn`t run according to the evil populist spirit that blows in the streets and sometimes in this house.”
”We want successful businesspeople in this country. We want initiative, we want people who open businesses, we want large international companies to come here and to open factories, we want people who make a lot of money to be here and these people should not be persecuted by jealousy and unsupportiveness.”
”There has been a lot of talk about the cuts in the budget, but maybe we should mention what it has added in this difficult time for the Israeli economy. I know that you`d prefer to forget, but we added 9.1 billion NIS to the Ministry of Education and we introduced basic compulsory education for every child in Israel. In this budget we added 3 billion NIS to the Ministry of Health and 600 million NIS to the basket of drugs covered by healthcare. Why are you so silent all of a sudden? We cut 500 million NIS for a multi-year plan to provide nursing care and medication for holocaust survivors and an additional 500 million NIS for a program to prepare the job market for the integration of Charedim.”
”We added 2.9 billion to the budget of the Ministry of Public Security and 4.7 billion for transportation. We allocated 1 billion NIS for the Ministry of Welfare and Social Services, 200 million of which was spent on food security for children. We added 100 million NIS on scholarships for disadvantaged children and 35 million NIS for the Student Administration to support immigrant students. We did not touch the grants for disadvantaged areas; we transferred 2.8 billion NIS for the sake of welfare services and education for their residents. These facts complicate things if you`re in the opposition, but you`ll find a way to get over it. We didn`t touch the budget for free education for the ages of 3-4. We didn`t touch allocations for the elderly. We didn`t touch allocations for the disabled.”
I feel with all my heart the pain of the lower class. They are not always seen in front of our eyes. They are here and it`s our obligation to worry about them. However, the main thing that the lower class needs is a strong state with a strong economy. If this is not the case, the lower class will be the first group that is hurt and we cannot allow this to happen. A state whose public services collapse is a state that is hurting the disadvantaged.”
Head of the Opposition, MK Shelly Yachimovich (Israel Labor Party) responded in her speech to the words of the Minister of Finance. Yachimovich appealed to the homemakers, calling them ”my dear sisters” and quoted the words of Lapid: ”The temples of the Minister of Finance are dripping with sweat. Where will the money come from? Don`t buy this political theatre; this is a show for the cameras. Our old politicians who only think about themselves always come to the same answers: Time after time, year after year. I say to you, this is the reason that Yesh Atid was established, we will bring a new politics, because we can`t continue this way.”
”Promises, promises, promises, words, words, words, committees, committees, committees, clichés, clichés, clichés, just more of the same. Sweet talk and rolling of the eyes. They declared war on 95% of Israelis.
Imagine that in one of your pre-election performances, I would have come to you and whispered that this is what you would do in the end, would you believe it?! Your embezzlement of the public trust is extreme and unprecedented. Would you believe that in the course of firing your artillery you would levy a unique high tax on women who make no money? Would you believe it?!
”I will dedicate this speech to a group that`s one of the thousands of your victims. There are 450 thousand housewives and you decided to abuse every one of them that is under the age of 50. We will take what you are brazenly attempting to do and view it in the context of your macro-policy. You are not a bad person; you don`t want to actually abuse anyone. You simply don’t understand where you live, you and your twin, Binyamin Netanyahu. In your golden disconnected world, you really think that the life of a homemaker is cheerful and carefree. You think she happily chooses to lounge around the house, rejecting the great variety of jobs that are waiting for her, spoiled by her silk sheets, sitting at a café, chatting with her friends. On your Facebook page there are pictures of an unemployed person as you see them, lying on a hammock. You have decided to do what no one before has had the guts to do: to impose taxes upon the housewife`s 0 shekels. There is no doubt that the elimination of the exception from paying social security and health taxes for homemakers is a decision that can compete for first place in the standings of obtuseness and wickedness. Do you really not know that the price of taking care of children is so high that it doesn`t pay to work? Do you not know that for many women, it is more expensive to go out and work than to stay home and raise her children? Do you not know the difficulties of a housewife, who has been fired and has finished off her unemployment after half a year, or has elongated her maternity leave? You don`t understand that the most demanding challenge, almost more than any other job, is called family.
Yachimovich addressed the homemakers, ”Sisters, the government thinks that it`s not so bad if each one of you parts with 2000 NIS each year. Your Minister of Finance thinks that you deserve an additional fine, not the owners of great wealth, not those who sweep up massive profits from our natural assets. He thinks you won`t pay attention because he is establishing a committee. Specifically today, the second Sheshinski Committee was appointed to study whether it is possible to raise the royalties that billionaires are paying on our national resources that belong to you, the homemakers. Do you know when the first conclusions will be published? In another year. They`ll take from you the whole time, tick-tock. ”
”I demand of you, Yair Lapid, establish a Sheshinski committee for every group that you are abusing today, you are taking 650 million NIS from those who make nothing, and you take nothing from the Ofer family on 7 billion NIS of income.”
”According to the Minister of Finance, this budget is the vision of the government. Here`s the vision in a nutshell. Let`s look at one example from the many possibilities. Let`s say that they are trying to convince you, homemakers, to work. However, in the same budget, the same Prime Minister Netanyahu, the same Minister of Finance Lapid, are cutting today 1.7 billion NIS from a subsidy for afternoon child care for ages 3-9. How can they want you to go work, when they`re cutting 75% from the budget subsidies set aside for afternoon child care? And they are cutting 345 million NIS from subsidizing parental payments for school? And delaying the enactment of an extended school day?”
”Sure, sure, this very same Minister of Finance who did not just promise, but who inscribed on his flag that this decade would be the decade of education. I guess he was referring to the next decade.”
”The Ministry of Education announced that families will need to pay more for hot meals. Did you read the reports from the Bank of Israel, the National Insurance Institute of Israel and the Research Department of the Knesset? How did you not notice that they all assured that your economic policies will only deepen the sickness and not heal it?”
”Dear homemaker, Yair Lapid promised you a certificate of insurance. Don`t believe him. This will be private insurance for Bibi, Yair and his friends, not for you. I apologize that I`m salting your wounds. I would be able to say almost the exact same thing for every group in Israel, as long as they are not in the Netanyahu`s or Lapid`s group of friends. This is a war for our home. Netanyahu, Lapid and their cohorts on one side and most of the population on the other. You need to choose a side. I call to you, my friends, MKs from the coalition, come to our side.”
58 MKs supported the first reading of the Budget Bill in a roll call vote and 44 opposed it. It will be passed to the Finance Committee to prepare it for the second and third reading.
58 MKs supported the first reading of the Arrangement Bill in a roll call vote and 44 opposed it.