Knesset advances 2019 State Budget in first reading

The 2019 State Budget passed its first legislative hurdle on the way to becoming law. 

By: World Israel News Staff

The Knesset approved Tuesday night the 2019 State Budget by a vote of 61-51 following a lengthy debate on its various clauses.

Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon presented the budget, noting that this is the third “social budget the government is presenting during the current Knesset.”

“This budget is a direct continuation of the social revolution that we have been leading in Israel in recent years,” he stated.

”This is an unprecedented achievement for the government, the Knesset and the Israeli economy,” Kahlon added. “This signals to the world the stability and strength of the Israeli economy. It signals to the international markets that Israel has a stable government and a stable economy.”

The budget, which still needs to be passed in second and third readings before it is made official, is set to include a budget of NIS 63 billion for defense, NIS 60 billion for education and NIS 38 billion for health.

Among the reforms included in the budget are increased competition in the television market, shortening the working week, a reform for shortening school vacations and encouraging integration in the labor market through work grants.

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The budget is being discussed well in advance, as 2019 is slated to be an election year in Israel and the government is seeking to finalize the bill to ensure economic stability.