"The education system reform and the Brodet Commission recommendations for the military budget have soaked up all the money, even leaving us overdrawn," say sources in the Finance Ministry in the run-up to discussions on the 2008 budget.
"The budget is in big trouble. We can increase spending by only NIS 4 billion, and government priorities have in fact already been preset."
The treasury's criticism is aimed mainly at the recommendations of the Brodet Commission, which was appointed to review the defense budget after the Second Lebanon War. The in-depth report criticizes the IDF's budgetary demands and reiterates the belief that the demands are baseless and attest to the IDF's lack of understanding of Israel's economic limitations.
Nevertheless, the treasury sees the commission's recommendations as a failure because the commission demands broad supplements to the defense budget despite its criticism. The commission recommended an additional NIS 46 billion for the defense budget between 2008 and 2017. Since about a billion shekels are already earmarked for financing wage raises to teachers, if the Brodet Commission's recommendations are accepted in full, the entire planned 1.7 percent increase in the 2008 budget will be fully allocated.
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