Prime MInister Benjamin Netanyahu has declined a Finance Ministry recommendation to raise taxes in the latter half of 2013, Globes reported on Tuesday.

Instead, the PM ordered the budget deficit target to be doubled from 1.5 percent to 3%, indicating a potential deficit of 13.5 billion NIS.

This deficit increase is expected to put off a number of expected tax increases, including to the Value Added Tax (VAT) rate, which was set to be raised on July 1, bringing in an additional 5 billion NIS in revenue for the government.