'Lapid Failed Miserably as Finance Minister'

Likud officials hit back at Lapid over anti-Netanyahu remarks, say he failed miserably as a minister and has 'ugly' political aspirations.

Hezki Baruch and Tova Dvorin ,

Netanyahu and Lapid
Netanyahu and Lapid
Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash 90

Likud officials have lashed out at Finance Minister Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid) on Tuesday, after Lapid accused Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu of wasting money on elections.

"Yair Lapid failed miserably in managing the economy," Likud officials told Arutz Sheva. "He was humiliated and failed in his attempt to lure the hareidi parties into a plot of a putsch against the Prime Minister."

"Lapid continues to lash out, threatening to undermine the government in which he serves while concocting a deal with [Justice Minister] Tzipi Livni - all from old-fashioned and ugly political interests," they continued. 

They also explained that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu aims to direct the budget responsibly - funneling funds into programs to boost Israel's security, make the IDF more efficient, and take real steps to lower the cost of living and housing, in their words - "in contrast to Lapid's political budget, which is irresponsibly." 

"Lapid prevents the transfer of funds to the security budget, which the IDF needs," they fired, noting the move is "irresponsible." 

They also stated that the 0% VAT law is "in its entirety, an illusion that will not actually lower the price of housing." 

"The prime minister runs the government, overall, for the good of the people, and the state will not allow such reckless and irresponsible political conduct," they concluded.

Earlier Tuesday, Lapid lashed out at Netanyahu, saying that elections are "unnecessary" and a political ploy.

"The Prime Minister decided last night to lead Israel into unnecessary elections," Lapid fired. "He is dragging the country into this without a need to do so, only so that he could strike a deal with the hareidi parties."

According to Lapid, the billions of shekels spent on new elections could be used, instead, to bolster the Israeli economy. 

"Instead of lowering the cost of living, transferring funds to social causes, improve the salaries of the middle class and helping the disadvantaged - the Prime Minister would rather raise taxes and pay now shekels of the Israeli middle class into the haredi parties' pockets," he stated.

Lapid's criticism follows a failed meeting with Netanyahu Monday night, during which the Prime Minister gave him an ultimatum: accept five conditions set forth to follow through on budgetary transfers, freeze Lapid's own 0% VAT bill, and stop attacking the coalition over Netanyahu's decisions regarding construction in Jerusalem and relationship with the US. 

Analysts say the conditions may be nearly impossible to fulfill, leading to widespread speculation that Netanyahu might dissolve the Knesset or form some sort of alliance with the hareidi parties.

Elections, if held, will reportedly be slated for March 2015, according to unofficial reports.