MK Stav Shaffir has succeeded in forcing the Treasury to agree to immediately cease any funding not included in last year’s budget. “The government will no longer be able to waste its citizens’ money on payoffs to special interest groups close to it, and other electioneering gimmicks,” she said.
Since the Knesset dissolved itself before passing the 2015 budget, Israeli law mandates that the government continue operating according to the previous budget’s criteria, with each month’s expenditure being 1/12 of the 2014 budget.
The acting Finance Minister (PM Netanyahu) has been arbitrarily using executive powers without any parliamentary oversight, to allocate funds to promote causes dear to the right wing, such as settlement construction in the West Bank. In addition, the government also tried to railroad a decision through the Finance Committee altering the budget, increasing the Defense Ministry’s budget at the expense of education, public housing and public transport
Shaffir got wind of the government’s intention to unilaterally allocate over 100,000,000 NIS to settlement activities, and to increase the Defense budget without parliamentary approval. She complained to Supreme Justice Salim Jubran, Chairman of the Central Election Committee. He approached Attorney-General Weinstein, who issued a finding forbidding any allocations not covered in the 2014 budget.
By Yoni Ariel/www.jerusalemonline.com