Full Text Israel Political Brief June 26, 2012: Statement by PM Benjamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz After Their Meeting on Deficit Spending



Statement by PM Netanyahu and Finance Minister Steinitz

Photo by GPO

Source: PMO, 6-26-12

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz issued the following statements after their meeting this morning:

Prime Minster Netanyahu: “I have decided to adopt Finance Minister Steinitz’s recommendation on the deficit outline. I think that we will also maintain fiscal responsibility and a responsible and real economic framework for the State of Israel. But, of course, we will need to adopt a series of steps that the Finance Ministry will submit to us in order to ensure that this framework will indeed take place. In so doing, we will maintain important national programs such as blocking the entry of infiltrators and the free education law that we will apply in another two months.”

Finance Minister Steinitz: “After a long series of discussions at the Finance Ministry, with the participation of Bank of Israel and Prime Minister’s Office representatives, I have decided to update the 2013 deficit target to 3%.

Following the sharp slowdown in Europe, we have a decline in state revenues in Israel; therefore, we must update the deficit target. This is still a challenging and conservative deficit target that is lower than in most Western countries and we will need to make an effort over the coming weeks to submit steps to the Government in order to meet this deficit target.

We also decided to set long-term deficit targets – lowering the deficit to 2% by 2016 and 1.5% by 2019, and to maintain the original goal that we decided upon, which is the most important, of lowering Israel’s debt-to-GDP ratio to around 60% in 2020. In the coming weeks, we will present a plan to meet these targets.

I also met with the Prime Minister yesterday evening and I received his agreement to submit this decision for Cabinet approval on Sunday, July 1.”

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