Treasury Seeks New Round of Fiscal Cuts

Finance Ministry wants a new round of budget cuts, but also seeks to add NIS 130 to Defense Ministry's budget.

In an effort to help close the huge gap between spending and revenues in the 2012 budget, the Finance Ministry on Monday asked the Knesset Finance Committee to approve a new round of budget cuts to government ministries totalling NIS 785 million.

At the same time, the treasury wants to add NIS 130 million to Defense Ministry's allocations, partly to cover the costs of erecting a facility for illegal migrants in the south.

Gal Hershkovitz, the treasury's budget director, presented the request yesterday for a vote slated for next week. The deficit is NIS 4.75 billion wider this year than had been built in the 2012 budget.

The cabinet approved these changes in July as part of a 5% across-the-board cut to all ministries.

After all these changes, the defense budget will total NIS 58.2 billion for 2012.

The treasury also asked the committee to transfer hundreds of millions of shekels in various funds between ministries and various projects.

For example, NIS 24 million will be transferred to the Population and Immigration Authority, and NIS 151 million to the Public Security Ministry.