Israeli cabinet ministers on Sunday began debate on the 2021-2022 state budget, more than three years after the government last approved a fiscal spending package.
Due to two years of political stalemate and four elections, Israel is using a pro-rated version of the 2019 state budget that was passed in March 2018. A new government led by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, a former software entrepreneur, took office in mid-June and unseated Benjamin Netanyahu after 12 years in office.
Debate is expected to be long and a vote could come in the early hours of Monday, Reuters reported.
Finance Minister Avigdor Lieberman told reporters ahead of Sunday's cabinet meeting that he was confident the budget was a good one and ultimately would be approved.
Parliament -- in which Bennett has a razor-thin majority -- is expected to take its initial vote in early September with final approval for the 14-month budget slated for early November.
Israeli media have reported that ministers are seeking 14 billion shekels ($4.3 billion) of further spending.
"Everyone is justified but there is not enough money for everyone. It's impossible to please everyone," Lieberman said.