The Israeli Central Bank calls for more clarity on defense spending

On Sunday, the Governor of the Central Bank of Israel called on the government to adopt a responsible fiscal policy by curbing non-defense spending to compensate for any new increase in the military budget.

This month, lawmakers approved a revised budget for 2024 that added tens of billions of shekels to fund the war in the Gaza Strip, which has been raging for nearly six months.

Amir Yaron, Governor of the Bank of Israel, said that in order to determine the size of the defense budget in a thoughtful manner, a committee should be formed soon with the participation of defense and civilian bodies.

“The committee should identify Israel’s defense needs in the coming years and formulate an appropriate multi-year budget program that takes into account all the ramifications on the economy,” he said in a letter to ministers and members of the Knesset in the Central Bank’s annual report for 2023.

He added: “If there is an additional increase in that budget, beyond what has already been decided, it is important that it be accompanied by fiscal adjustments that would at least prevent a permanent increase in the ratio of public debt to GDP.”

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