The cabinet is expected on Sunday to approve the establishment of a ministerial committee on socioeconomic issues, to be headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
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As was specified in the coalition agreement that paved the way for the formation of the current government, Yesh Atid leader and Finance Minister Yair Lapid will be acting chairman in Netanyahu’s absence.
The committee’s decisions will have the same force as a decision by the entire cabinet, although at his own initiative, or following a request by another minister, Netanyahu will have the right to appeal a committee decision either for reconsideration by the committee itself or by bringing the matter to the entire cabinet. The committee agenda will include the state budget, national projects related to the economy, wage issues and other socioeconomic policy.
The committee will also have 11 other ministers (about half of the total cabinet). These will include Yuval Steinitz, who was Lapid’s predecessor as finance minister and is now strategic and intelligence affairs minister; Silvan Shalom, who is energy and water resources minister as well as minister for regional development; Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Naftali Bennett; and Social Affairs Minister Meir Cohen; as well as the ministers of housing and construction, education, the interior, tourism, environmental protection and immigrant absorption. The governor of the Bank of Israel will also be a regular invitee at the committee meetings.