MK Moshe Gafni
MK Moshe GafniIsaac Harari/Flash 90

The Knesset’s Finance Committee approved early Tuesday morning the state budget for 2017-2018, which will total 906.8 billion shekels, 446.8 billion shekels in 2017 and 460 billion shekels in 2018.

The committee approved the budget by a majority of eight to three. The budget must still pass its second and third Knesset readings. That vote is expected sometime this week.

Finance Committee chairman MK Moshe Gafni (United Torah Judaism) said following the vote, "It was very hard to pass this law; we received the Budget Law and the Arrangements Law within a short time period in an unprecedented manner. However, we never gave up on anything. We went through every law and we inserted important changes that will benefit the public interest. It was not easy, but in the end we approved it for the benefit of the economy and the state.”

Gafni thanked the members of the committee for "the intense and fruitful work which eventually led to a plan that will benefit the economy."

In addition, he thanked the people of the Finance Ministry for the many days and nights they spent with the committee in order to promote the Budget Law and Arrangements Law.

MK Mickey Levy (Yesh Atid), despite leading the opposition to the budget in the committee, thanked Gafni "for the fair manner in which he conducted the discussions."

Coalition chairman MK David Bitan (Likud) welcomed the approval of the budget, saying, "Well done to chairman Gafni, who very wisely conducted the discussions on the Arrangements Law and the Budget Law and withstood all the pressures.”