Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Netanyahu set to unveil tax changes, insists not to bow to pressure to change the overall budget

(Globes).Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has postponed until Thursday morning a press conference at which he is expected to announce tax reductions and subsidies for public transport fares. Behind closed doors, he has also spoken of freezing the income tax and companies tax reform.

He has been defending his decision to change these matters but insists that the overall budget framework will remain unchanged.

He told Ministry of Finance officials:
"What's happened? It's possible to correct matters. We've amended budgets in the past and we can do it again. It is permitted to make changes as you proceed."
"They'll criticize me whatever I do. If you don't do something you are ignoring needs, and if you do something you are making a u-turn. The u-turn would be if we changed the budget framework and the result of that would be crazy and it is clear that it is not serious.This wave of protests is not serious and will soon pass."

"They tell me to break into the budget framework. They are pressuring me from every direction. But there is only one situation in which I would change the budget framework and that is only if there was a major security threat. We will not be Ireland or Portugal. We will have stability here. The first thing guiding me is responsibility. We came out of the global economic crisis very well and we will not rock the boat".
He insisted that he had no differences with Minister of Finance Yuval Steinitz whom he described as a partner.