The first cabinet debate on the 2013 budget, which had been slated to take place on Sunday, was postponed indefinitely late Tuesday by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz amid doubts they have coalition support for deep spending cuts.
The Prime Minister's Office made no official announcement on the matter.
After long delays in beginning deliberations on next year's spending package, the two presented a timetable at the beginning of August involving a deliberation start date of September 2 and a final discussion before the Rosh Hashanah holiday September 17.
The main item on the agenda is how to squeeze between NIS 13 billion and NIS 15 billion in budget cuts out of next year's spending.
The delays are the first in more than a decade. Budget deliberations have traditionally started in July, with the cabinet voting on the outlines of the fiscal package in August.
Netanyahu and Steinitz met with treasury budget officials earlier this week, presenting a series of alternative fiscal scenarios for implementing the required savings. But no decisions were made.
Sources say Netanyahu will make key decisions on the budget in consultation with members of his coalition - the Yisrael Beiteinu, Shas and Atzmaut parties - to assess whether he can assemble majorities in the cabinet and Knesset for such deep spending cuts in time for the end-of-December deadline.
If he sees signs that he has a majority, the prime minster will likely hold the first cabinet budget discussion immediately after the High Holy Days, which end October 8.
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