| 26 May 2024, Sunday |

Israeli parliament approves 2021 national budget

On Thursday, Israel’s parliament passed the national budget for 2021, avoiding a new election by fulfilling a deadline set by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s cabinet.

Parliament will have a separate vote on the budget for 2022 after continuing its overnight session. It is largely assumed that the deal would be approved early on Friday.

The legislature approved the 2021 budget with a 61-59 vote, putting Bennett’s varied coalition of right-wing, centrist, left-wing, and Arab parties to the test.

Failure to win parliamentary ratification for the 2021 package by Nov. 14 would have triggered a new election by law, but many political commentators had predicted it would be approved.

A prolonged political stalemate in Israel had meant that no budget had been approved in the legislature in more than 3-1/2 years. The country has been running with a pro-rated version of the 2019 budget, something economists say is hindering growth.

Passage of the 2021 budget came nearly five months after Bennett’s government took office, replacing the administration of long-time leader Benjamin Netanyahu following four inconclusive elections in two years.

“It’s a day for celebration for the State of Israel,” Bennett, who heads a far-right party, said on Twitter after the vote.

“After years of chaos, we established a government, overcame the (COVID-19) Delta variant and now, thank God, we passed a budget for Israel.”

  • Reuters