Budget, Knesset

Updated budget for 2024 passes final vote

Minister Avi Dichter previously threatened to vote no, but ultimately changed his mind and voted in favor of the budget bill.

Government during the final budget vote. (Photo: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

After threatening to vote against the budget, only to change his mind when reaching an understanding with Prime Minister Netanyahu, Agricultural Minister Avi Dichter voted along with a majority of MKs to approve the updated budget for 2024 today (Wednesday). The vote was 62-55, since MK and Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Chairman was absent, sitting shivah for his recently deceased mother. MK Danny Danon left the plenum before the vote, as well.

The updated budget now restricts government spending to 584.1 billion NIS, spending 70.4 billion more than 2023 due to the needs of the war.

Earlier, Finance Minister Betzalel Smotrich met with the Prime Minister to resolve the crisis before the vote resulting from Minister Dichter and other Likud MKs threatening to not support the budget.

Smotrich declared that he would not “surrender to political extortion” and re-open the budget for debate. “With God’s help, we are passing a good war budget for the State of Israel. I thank the Prime Minister and government ministers for the effort and shared work,” he said.

Opposition Leader Yair Lapid said after the budget passed that “the most sectorial, detached, reckless budget in the history of the State of Israel was approved with the votes of the cowards. Do not despair. This is the last budget this government will pass. The next budget will have a government that will pass a budget which looks after the Israeli middle class, the reservists, business owners, regular army officers, and young parents.”

The Likud said “we passed the 2024 state budget, a budget which assures the continued war until absolute victory and benefits Israeli citizens and the economy of the state.”

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