Al Kuwaitiah  

Thursday, January 27, 2022

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Netanyahu seeks to cut 2014 budget to finance Gaza war
Netanyahu, Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon and Finance Minister Yair Lapid are seeking cuts of two percent from every government ministry -- other than defence -- to raise about 2 billion shekels ($561 million, 425 million euros).
   
According to documents released by the cabinet office ahead of Sunday's weekly meeting, the biggest proposed cut is to the education ministry, which is being asked to give up 480 million shekels.
   
Welfare and social services are being asked for 62.6 million and health spending is to be trimmed by 43 million.
   
Welfare Minister Meir Cohen protested, saying there was no more fat on his budget to trim.
   
"From whom will we take? From those who have nothing to put in their children's sandwiches for school?" he said on Israeli army radio.
   
Netanyahu's own office, which is responsible for the domestic and foreign intelligence agencies, the Atomic Energy Commission and other departments, is to lose 33 million.
   
The foreign ministry, long bedevilled by dwindling budget allocations and rocked earlier this year by a strike of senior diplomats and a lockout of the foreign minister from his Jerusalem office, needs to trim 11.9 million shekels.
   
The original 2014 budget was itself an austerity package which Lapid said was essential for the country's economic health.
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