Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman to bring budget to cabinet in August, seeks hike in home property tax

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Finance minister says he hopes for 5% annual economic growth in next 4 years, budget deficit target of 7.1% of GDP for 2021 is reachable.

Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman on Tuesday said that he will present the 2021-2022 state budget for a cabinet vote in the first week of August, with the aim of having the Knesset pass it by the November deadline.

Liberman said he believes the budget will pass by November because even most of the opposition does not want a fresh round of elections, which would be triggered if the budget failed to pass. Israel held four elections within two years amid political gridlock. The last budget that was passed, for 2019, was voted upon in March 2018.

At a briefing with reporters in Jerusalem, Liberman, who took up his post when a government was formed in June, reiterated his assertion that the upcoming budget will not raise taxes but rather would see growth come from a reduction in regulations, investment in infrastructure and greater economic efficiency.

He said that just cutting back on regulation, according to OECD forecasts, could lead to a savings of NIS 8 billion ($2.43 billion) to NIS 8.5 billion ($2.6 billion) a year. As soon as the provisions come into force, he said, they will contribute to significant economic growth.

“My dream for the four coming years is to preserve (annual) growth at around 5%. That would be an unprecedented achievement,” Liberman said.

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