The process is underway

Process is in progress

Alexander Osovtsov

Immediately after the adoption of the state budget by the Knesset, I noted with some surprise that many commentators wrote about this event as if the main thing had already happened. While with all the importance of the adoption of the main financial and economic document, which, moreover, has not been in Israel since 2018. The main thing & mdash; it is not about accepting a budget, but executing it. Of course, you can understand journalists too. The adoption of the budget, the political struggle, about 1000 votes, the filibasters, the leader of the opposition, mistakenly voting with the coalition six times in a row, sleepless nights – all this in itself creates a sense of the brightness of the events taking place and gives a lot of material, as it was customary to say before, for the pen. The subsequent routine daily work of the government and parliament is always and everywhere much less noticeable, with rare and not very fruitful exceptions of an event-reporting nature. This is one of the reasons why I thought it right, and perhaps interesting, to briefly talk about what happened in the process of budget execution and around it literally in the first four weeks after its adoption.

Literally after the first of them, the most important law on changing the procedure for levying tax on the extraction of minerals passed relatively little noticeably. Not everyone is accustomed to the fact that the contents of the subsoil, first of all, gas production on the sea shelf & mdash; an important and fairly large item of our public finances. So here is the previous procedure for paying taxes by mining companies & mdash; by the way, this money goes to the State Welfare Fund & mdash; allowed them, oddly enough, in fact not to pay these taxes for years. According to the previously valid rules, after the tax department calculated the amounts that were to be paid to the budget, these companies could challenge them, which in itself is perfectly normal, any taxpayer, including every citizen, has the right to challenge the amount of tax. But what distinguished these particular commercial structures is that their appeal with a demand to revise the amounts of taxes suspended the need to pay them until the end of the dispute in the last instance. Usually no one has such lucrative opportunities in Israel, and not only in Israel. Think about it, all the time when the issue of huge money will be considered in the Israeli bureaucratic and judicial authorities, and we know the speed of their work, our local Gazprom could not pay taxes. Why the previous government did such a favor to raw materials producers, I would not even venture to suggest. But I know for sure that the lafa is over, at the suggestion of the Ministry of Finance, the Knesset adopted appropriate amendments to the law on taxation of profits from the exploitation of natural resources, and now, like anyone who pays taxes to the Israeli budget, they first have to pay, and then prove it for as long as they like. justify their opinion that they paid too much. The welfare fund will finally start working normally, after all, it should not be a fund for the state of gas companies.

Of course, the task of the cabinet is not only to find finances, but also to spend them correctly. It's no secret that defense is one of the biggest in Israel, even if not the biggest article. We are used to being proud of our army, we love boys and girls in uniform and we want to take care of them. Take care not only as their relatives, friends, but also as a people, as a country. Therefore, a significant majority of Israelis take with particular pleasure the news of an increase, as it is customary to call it in Russian, in monetary allowances for our soldiers and soldiers – ” a very significant increase & mdash; by 50%, 1.5 times. From next year, monthly payments to military personnel will be up to more than 3,000 shekels for the third year of service in combat units. Of course, not crazy much, but for a 20-year-old person who lives on everything ready, it's not bad at all. Immediately after this news, there was a message that a similar decision had also been made with regard to those who repay their debt to Israel, doing civil (alternative) service. The finance minister keeps his campaign promises, which is actually extremely difficult given the state in which the previous government left the country's economy, following a populist course and catering to certain sectors of society, in exchange for political support.

It is clear that the volume of this column does not allow to tell about everything that was done even in just four weeks. I would like, of course, to tell in more detail about 3 billion for the development of infrastructure of Druze and Circassian communities & mdash; the contribution of the Druze to the defense and strengthening of the State of Israel is costly, and much more. I would like to pay more attention to the fact that the costs of payments to soldiers, as well as an increase in funding for academic scholarships for soldiers of combat units and a few other decisions included in the budget, have been implemented in addition to the budget, and analyze where the Ministry of Finance managed to find almost a billion shekels for this good a business. But from what has been said, it is already quite clear that the daily painstaking work, even if it does not always get into the media and becomes known to everyone and everyone, unlike empty scandals, is and is going in the right direction.

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