24 May 2023 - This morning the Knesset approved the state budget for the years 2023-2024 with 64 votes in favor and 55 against.
The biennial budget for the years 2023-2024 amounts to 484 billion shekels ($130B) for the year 2023 and 514 billion shekels ($138B) for the year 2024. It was also confirmed that during the fiscal years an additional budget of 14 billion shekels ($3.8B) will be allocated according to coalition agreements.
The government claims that the approved budget will improve the economic situation of the Israeli public. The plan includes provisions to distribute the Arnona Fund to weak local authorities and granting them the opportunity to encourage construction by issuing building permits.according to the government this will help combat inflation, and the rising cost of housing.
However, this serves a specific population group and does not benefit the Arab community. The cost of living is continuously rising, with the central bank expected to raise interest rates by 0.25 percentage points in the near future, further impeding economic growth in the already underdeveloped Arab localities.
The Mossawa Center confirms, through its monitoring of budgets for the Arab society, that this year will be worse than the previous one in terms of actual budget implementation. This is due to the extensive reduction in budgets from all ministries by 1.5%.
Post-Budget and Pre-Local Elections
After the approval of the state budget for the years 2023-2024, the Knesset Finance Committee will be approving budget transfers based on the directions of the Ministry of Finance.
The Mossawa Center will work with Arab Knesset members to monitor and follow up on the implementation of budgets in accordance with Government Decision 550, to ensure these budgets are transferred to Arab local authorities before the local elections and avoid shortfalls in budget allocation and implementation.