Israel-Gaza War, Budget, Economy

Economy Minister Barkat Threatens to Vote Against Budget

Minister Barkat also said that if businesses in the combat zones collapse and don't survive the war, it will amount to a Hamas victory.

Nir Barkat. (Photo: Oliver Pitusi/Flash90)

Economy Minister Nir Barkat continued to send hints that he would not support the budget as currently proposed. During a discussion at the Knesset’s Economic Affairs Committee, Barkat said “I will not support the state budget if they do not allocate at least 250 million NIS to save businesses in the south and north from collapse.”

According to Barkat, “does it seem reasonable to anyone in this room that the reservists who are risking their lives on the front should deal with worries of their livelihood? If the businesses in the fighting areas collapse and don’t survive the war – that’s a victory for Hamas. I as the Economy Minister of the State of Israel will not give my hand to a budget which will bring about the collapse of businesses in the periphery.”

Barkat: “Our resources are not expenditures but investment”

Barkat complained of the conduct of the Finance Ministry: “They don’t return our calls, it’s detached from the processes. I don’t remember that they went down with us into the field and asked how they can help. If businesses collapse, Hamas will win.” He said he appealed to Netanyahu and Smotrich and stressed “You understand the importance of what I’m talking about, to ensure businesses don’t collapse, to care for our reservists. Our resources are not expenditures, they’re investments.”

"Our resources are not expenditures, but investment." Netanyahu and Smotrich. (Photo: Amit Shevi, Pool)

Yesterday during their joint press conference, Minister Gantz appealed to Prime Minister Netanyahu and asked him to stop the coalition funds from being used. “I wish to appeal to you, Mister Prime Minister, tomorrow the state budget for the year of 23 will be brought for a vote on the first vote. The citizens of Israel were also most all harmed by the challenges presented by the war in the economic aspect, too, especially those evacuated from their homes and the reservists. They are looking expectedly at us, now.”

According to him, “it’s not too late to stop the budgetary additions which do not regard the fighting and everything around it, and transfer them like all the other available resources for the needs of the war. In days like this and moments like this – leadership is tested, and we need to demonstrate it. On this subject, as well, as in the war, we need to act based on general national considerations.”

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