The High Court this evening (Tuesday) issued a conditional order and ordered the government and the Knesset to explain why the Hauser-Handel compromise, which postponed the approval of the budget for 2020 until the end of December, was rejected. The government and the Knesset were required to respond by December 15. An expanded panel of nine judges – the panel reserved for hearings of special significance.
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Despite the exceptional debate, it is doubtful whether it will have any bearing on the current political situation. Without a budget approval, the Knesset will automatically dissolve on December 23, and no decision in the High Court is expected before then. It may, however, affect further political compromises on the issue, or similar Knesset measures in the future.
Former MK Satyo Shafir, one of the petitioners, said in response: “I am very happy that the High Court has bravely decided to give a yellow card to this disgrace, before it reaches dimensions we would not have imagined.” She said, “Deferring the budget is the most extreme case we have seen of corruption in public funds. Government ministers have snatched the right to transfer public money to political interests without any oversight.”
A High Court statement was issued hours after this morning’s hearing, in which Hayut criticized the unity government that has not yet passed a state budget and tried to understand from the Knesset representative why the budget for 2020 will be passed only in the last week of December. She has an explanation for this. ”
Hayut discussed with Justices Neil Handel and Uzi Vogelman a petition filed by former MK Stav Shafir with the Movement for Quality of Government, National Responsibility and the New Contract Association against procrastination in approving the budget, but the president agreed to discuss only the issue of abuse of the Basic Law.
President Esther Hayut asked the Knesset representative, Adv. Avital Sompolinsky, whether the transfer of the budget for 2020 two days before the end of the year does not hurt the Knesset, and Handel added that “we have reached a situation where there is in fact no full-year budget. This is one of the most important things the Knesset does. “Hayut emphasized that” alongside this, outside the budget, NIS 11 billion is being distributed. ”
Advocate Sompolinsky replied: “The Knesset members thought that in July it was not right to go to the polls, we were just before the second wave of the Corona and optimistic about the political crisis. Knesset members were convinced that the government should be given another 120 days to pass the budget. The political crisis has led to the government not bringing the 2020 budget to the Knesset. ”
In August, the Knesset approved the postponement of the date of approval of the state budget for 2020 for another 120 days – until the end of December. This is part of a compromise initiated by Minister Yoaz Handel and MK Zvi Hauser, which was intended to prevent the dissolution of the Knesset and new elections.