The Times of Israel’s senior analyst Haviv Rettig Gur talks political transparency and budget this week on the podcast.
Gur explains that at least a third of Israel’s cabinet ministers, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz, have failed to produce a declaration of their personal assets, more than three months after the legal deadline. He tells us why this matters — and why no one will do anything about it.
The declarations, which are considered private and not leaked to the public, are geared to bolster transparency and allow the State Comptroller’s Office to pinpoint possible conflicts of interest on the part of the legislators. Submitting the financial disclosures is mandatory. But there are no specific sanctions for failing to do so and the comptroller’s office, which receives the ministers’ disclosures, has taken a lax approach to enforcing the rules. Why?
Then, Gur does a deep dive into why Netanyahu isn’t eager to pass the 2020 budget, and how tens of thousands of lives are affected, from small business owners to thousands of youths whose mentoring programs were halted on the first day of school.
When they hand out stimulus payments without a budget, he asks, are politicians spending money we don’t have?
“We don’t know anything about the state of the economy,” said Gur. And, through political machinations, the new deadline to pass the 2020 budget is December 23, 2020.
Finally, why are top economy bureaucrats dropping like flies? This week marked the protest resignation of Treasury director Keren Terner Eyal after five months on the job. Her resignation follows the departures of the head of the Finance Ministry’s Budgets Department, Shaul Meridor, and Accountant General Roni Hezkiyahu.
Gur explains what the heck is going on here, and why.
Check out last week’s Times of Israel Podcast here: