TLR 170: Mess and make-believe:the 2015-16 budget

This issue is devoted entirely to the 2015-16 state budget and ancillary matters. However, far from being a narrow and technical discussion, the need to explain why, in mid-August, the government still has no budget in place, how the public sector functions in this circumstance and what is and is not in the proposed budget approved by the Cabinet earlier this month, leads to a broad and wide-ranging review of central aspects of the budget and the budgetary process.

An essential part of its creation and implementation of the budget as political, so that the contents of this issue are as much concerned with Section B: Domestic Politics as with Section C: Macro-Economics. But the perspective is economic and I would draw attention in particular to the discussion on the deficit/ GDP ratio and the views of the various key policy-making persona and institutions on this critical concern.

From a longer-term perspective, the central issue in the upcoming budget –as in previous ones — is the size of the defence budget, which is indeed akin to the elephant in the room which everyone pretends to ignore. Why this is so and whether it will stay that way is the subject of a separate discussion within the general topic of the budget.

Finally, a brief consideration of the Arrangements Law, its role and the controversy it generates, rounds off the budget analysis.

Although the budget is undoubtedly important and, as a news topic, it will remain prominent in the public eye at least until the November 19 deadline for completing its legislative passage, developments are not lacking in other areas of no lesser and arguably greater importance. Of these, the fallout from the Iran deal on Israel generally, Israel-US relations and the ability of Prime Minister Netanyahu to maintain his dominant position and even to survive politically, seems to be the one that demands the most immediate attention and to which I intend to devote the next issue.

Contents

C: Macro-economics 

  1. At last, a budget — of sorts
  1. How to square the circle 
  1. The elephant not in the room
  1. If something can’t go on for ever, it won’t 
  1. Arrangements Law  disarray

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