Prime Minister Ehud Olmert plans to bring his alternative safety net proposal for pension savings to a vote during the cabinet session Sunday - whether or not the Finance Ministry is on board. Ministry officials are meanwhile incensed at the prime minister's moves undercutting the plan they forged.
The negotiating teams of the treasury, Bank of Israel and the Prime Minister's Office have yet to reach any kind of accord on the nature of a rescue plan. However, after meeting with Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer yesterday, the prime minister says he's confident that consensus could be reached within hours. In fact the negotiating teams met for the first time on Sunday.
The models presented by the treasury and Olmert are similar in basic principles, but differ over items such as age of pension savers to be protected, the date of the plan's application and prerequisites for inclusion in the plan.
The treasury insists that now is not the time to put the safety net into operation, but the Prime Minister's Office and the Bank of Israel seek to do so immediately.
Fischer had earlier urged that a plan be submitted for voting without delay, a position that Olmert has adopted. Fischer added that any delay could cause the plan to miss its mark.
Following his meeting with the prime minister, Fischer met with Ofer Eini, the chairman of the Histadrut labor federation, to discuss the plans.
The participants included four top-level treasury talents, headed by Director General Yoram Ariav, with Budgets Director Ram Belinkov, Commissioner of Insurance and Capital Markets Yadin Antebi, and Accountant General Shuki Oren. Representing the Bank of Israel in the talks was the deputy governor of the Bank of Israel Zvi Eckstein. National Economic Council head Manuel Trajtenberg also took part.
The negotiating team held another meeting yesterday evening after press time last night.
According to Finance Minister Roni Bar On, the cabinet has not addressed the issue of the safety net and it has been reviewed for the first time by the negotiating team.
Want to enjoy 'Zen' reading - with no ads and just the article? Subscribe todaySubscribe now