Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reaches the final straight of the election race with two new economic promises: cutting taxes for small and medium-size businesses, and grants totaling NIS 15 billion for businesses and households.

At the beginning of the week, at a conference held by weekly newspaper B’Sheva, Netanyahu repeated what he said in an interview at the weekend with Ayala Hasson: “I am going to send Israel’s economy skywards and turn it into a world economic champion. Our economy will grow faster than that of any other country. Take note.”

Sources inform “Globes” that, in conversations within his party, Netanyahu has announced his intention of setting up an economic cabinet that he himself will head, where the most important decisions will be made. The intention is that if the finance portfolio has to be handed to one of the Likud’s coalition partners, Netanyahu will transfer decision making from the Ministry of Finance to this future cabinet.

Meanwhile, although Netanyahu says that he intends to retain the finance portfolio for Likud, the Yamina party has made a final decision that the Ministry of Finance will belong to it when it enters a new government. Former minister Ayelet Shaked, number two to Naftali Bennett on the Yamina list, said explicitly at a conference last Thursday that “one of our targets is the Ministry of Finance – we can do wonderful things there at a national level.”

Responding to queries from “Globes”, Yamina sources rushed to deny the report and said that they were not concerned at this stage with how portfolios will be divided up. It appears, however, that although it is not clear whether Bennett will himself form a government or whether he will be part of a new government formed by Netanyahu, one portfolio has already been marked as a target for Shaked, who last month presented a wide-ranging housing plan.

Published by Globes, Israel business news – en.globes.co.il – on March 15, 2021

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2021

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