Likud, Labor to Oppose State Budget

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JERUSALEM, Israel - Labor, Likud and Meretz Knesset factions agreed Monday to vote against the 2009 state budget draft.

While Finance Minister Roni Bar-On considered resubmitting the budget toward the end of the week, he's out of time for this session, which ends next Monday.

Labor MK (member of Knesset) Avishay Braverman, head of the Knesset finance committee, said the global financial crisis must be factored into the budget by factoring in a 0.7 percent increase to bolster the nation's infrastructure in view of the economic downturn in world markets.

Meanwhile, the Likud faction also based its opposition on the global financial crisis.

"This budget isn't good enough and isn't relevant due to the fact that it was prepared before the global economic crisis," a Likud party statement read.

"Approving the budget in only a first reading when the Continuity Law, which demands all three readings be held at once and not cross from one Knesset to another, indicates that this is a PR prank and has no practical meaning," the statement concluded.

The ultra-left-wing Meretz party also decided to vote against the draft budget, according to party chairman MK Haim Oron.

Had the finance minister submitted the draft budget this week, it would have fallen far short of a passing vote.

Source: YNet News

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