Defense Minister Ehud Barak urged the Trachtenberg Committee on socioeconomic change, Sunday evening, "not to get into a rut about a limit which must be tactical at the beginning of the debate on budget." The committee is scheduled to submit its recommendations to the government on Monday.
Speaking at a pre-New Year's toast held by his Atzma'ut (Independence) party, Barak said that large investment was needed in early childhood development, changing the cost of living for the middle class, sharing economic burdens, integrating Arabs and hareidi-religious Jews into the work force and making housing affordable. He added that it was impossible to do this within the current budget frameworks so "We must ask ourselves what is the critical mass of the matters that must be solved and which we must be able to solve, even if it means breaking the budget." Barak said nothing in the budget was sacred, calling the document a "tactical tool".