ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 148

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Barkat confirms he will not vote for wartime budget update in Knesset this week

Carrie Keller-Lynn is a former political and legal correspondent for The Times of Israel

Economy Minister Nir Barkat (center) speaks at a meeting of the Knesset Economy Committee, October 25, 2023. (Courtesy)
Economy Minister Nir Barkat (center) speaks at a meeting of the Knesset Economy Committee, October 25, 2023. (Courtesy)

Economy Minister Nir Barkat will not vote for the government’s wartime budget update when it comes to the Knesset floor on Wednesday, Barkat’s office confirms.

Barkat has publicly railed against the budget as being insufficient to answer wartime economic needs, and a source close to the economy minister says that the budget, as presented, “will lead to economic collapse.”

Communication has seemingly broke down between Barkat and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as the two have not spoken since meeting last week to discuss Barkat’s reservations about the budget, and Barkat did not attend their Likud faction meeting today, his office says.

Barkat also did not vote for the budget when it was brought for cabinet approval last week.

Benny Gantz’s National Unity party also opposed the budget update, but cited its discomfort with permitting politically promised funds to flow to non-war effort needs as its concern.

Without Barkat and Gantz, the budget can still have 63 votes to pass, more than the 61 required to guarantee its approval.

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