ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 142

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Finance minister blasts local leaders for threatening strike action

Finance Minister and Religious Zionism party chief Bezalel Smotrich leads his party's faction meeting at Jerusalem's Knesset, May 8, 2023. (Oren Ben Hakoon/ Flash90)
Finance Minister and Religious Zionism party chief Bezalel Smotrich leads his party's faction meeting at Jerusalem's Knesset, May 8, 2023. (Oren Ben Hakoon/ Flash90)

Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich blasts local authority chiefs for threatening a strike over the coalition’s plan to transfer municipal tax income from wealthier cities to poorer communities.

Smotrich says the mayors “know the truth, that this bill creates justice between the municipalities in the center, which are in an attractive location and benefit from infrastructure and in any case constitute the business center of Israel, and the far-off municipalities in the periphery.”

The local government federation has been fighting against the proposal in the Finance Committee and with the Finance Ministry for the past two months, and shortly before voting on the matter today, its head, Modiin Mayor Haim Bibas, told the Finance Committee that the bill is “unacceptable.”

Smotrich says Bibas does not “have the courage to show leadership and admit that on Thursday we reached agreements with you on the bill and its wording.”

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