President Rivlin: “The worrisome developments in Jerusalem, and in other flash-points across the country, must inspire all of us to ‘pray for the peace of Jerusalem', to pray for the peace our land, and all its citizens. To that end, it is beholden upon all of us to call for responsible actions and for calm, before the situation gets out of control, in a way which nobody wants.”
Finance Minister Lapid: “The role and responsibility of leadership is to reduce the flames, to bring quiet to the streets, and to act in a level headed way, not out of narrow political interests.”
Finance Minister Yair Lapid today (Sunday) arrived at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem, together with senior ministry officials, including the Finance Ministry Director General Yael Andorn, Budget Department Head, Amir Levi, Legal Advisor Yoel Baris, for a working meeting with President Reuven Rivlin, in order to present to the President with Israel’s budget for 2015.
President Rivlin said, “I welcome your presentation of the budget at this time, a budget which in a distinct manner, addresses Israeli society, recognizing its difficulties, and aims to provide the best possible answer to the current concerns of the citizens of Israel. I also want to congratulate you on presenting the budget despite the threats and obstacles which stood in the way. We are enduring times which require a stable and responsible government, in the face of social and security challenges. The worrisome developments in Jerusalem, and in other flash-points across the country, must inspire all of us to ‘pray for the peace of Jerusalem, to pray for the peace our land, and all its citizens. To that end, it is beholden upon all of us to call for responsible actions and for calm, before the situation gets out of control, in a way which nobody wants.”
The President stressed the importance of stable government at the present time. He said, “Minister, I greatly appreciate your efforts to present this budget to the government, especially in light of the demands from the operation in the south, which was forced upon us and which requires of us long term rehabilitation and support for the residents around Gaza, who very literally stood in defense of the whole country. I do not think the public wants elections now, and I do not think that there is a need for elections at this time. Indeed, what is needed is unity and accord between all the market forces, in order to overcome the crises which we face. There is no doubt that presenting the budget is the proper and responsible thing to do at this time, and that going to elections would not encourage the confidence of the public in Israel.
Finance Minister Lapid said, “We have come here today in order to present to you the state budget for 2015. This is a budget of hope and promise, a budget which is dictated by our existence in the Middle East and all the threats and demands that entails. In this budget, there are no tax increases, because when you raise taxes you reduce the disposable income in the already emptying pockets of the Israeli middle class. When you raise taxes, you shrink the ability of a household to be consumers, and you harm the ability of the market to grow."
The Finance Minister referred also, to the security situation. He said, “The easiest thing to do is to raise the flames of the disputes, but the role and the responsibility of the leadership is to reduce the flames, to bring quiet to the streets, and to act in a level headed way, not out of narrow political interests. I see myself as a full partner in this struggle, in this mission, to return Israeli society to the model society that we dream of being and that we can be."