The Knesset on Wednesday night approved the state budget and economic plan for 2017-2018 by a majority of 60 to 48.
On Tuesday, the 2017-2018 budget was approved by the Knesset’s Finance Committee, which then sent it to the Knesset for its final two readings.
The budget for 2017 will be 359.7 billion shekels, and in 2018 the budget will stand at 376.7 billion shekels.
The deficit ceiling in 2017-2018 will be 2.9% of GDP.
The budget is based on the principles of equitable distribution of national resources, dealing with the housing crisis, reducing the cost of living, encouraging growth and improving productivity.
Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon (Kulanu) welcomed the approval of the budget.
"The budget approved today is a social one. It’s a budget which provides aid and assistance to all sectors of the population. This budget is for all the citizens. No right, left or center. It’s a social budget that addresses all aspects of our lives. It is a budget for growth, reducing social gaps, increasing public spending, tax cuts and continued momentum of all the government ministries with an emphasis on the social ministries,” he said.
Opposition leader MK Yitzhak Herzog (Zionist Union) attacked the budget and described it as "boring, with no new message to the people of Israel, a budget which totally missed its purpose. A budget without hope and without solutions to the daily economic distresses of the citizens of Israel."
Herzog accused Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his coalition of being "disconnected from the public, imposing a hidden tax on citizens, spending huge sums of money and dividing the money according to narrow interests, to anyone who threatens you, to your cronies and for purposed of political bribery.”