The Knesset Finance Committee authorized the next budget to be a two-year one and voted Monday to allow the government to push off its deadline to pass the budget by several months, to November 19.
The two-year budget is actually for 13-months, because of its late date in passing. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu preferred a budget that would span two full years and a month, because budget debates can lead to coalitions falling apart, but Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon opposed doing so.
The decision to limit the budget to a two-year framework, as Kahlon wanted, may help Israel keep its fiscal house in order. In 2012, the deficit exploded to twice its target level, which critics attributed to the two-year budget. When the 2011-2012 budget was approved in late 2010, the critics argued, they could not properly forecast revenues and expenditures two years out. Even now, the Finance Minister’s prediction of revenues in 2016 has a NIS 6 billion range.