Israeli finance minister confident on passing 2021-22 budget this week
JERUSALEM, Oct 31 (Reuters) - Israel's 2021-22 state budget is expected to receive final parliamentary approval by the end of the week, Finance Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Sunday.
"I don't see any problems," he said on the sidelines of a news conference to detail a new plan aimed at reducing housing costs. "We will finish all the legislation for the budget on Friday morning."
Last week, parliament's finance committee approved the budget, paving the way for a final vote in the full plenum slated for Thursday night, although typically these votes extend until early the next day.
Failure to give the spending package final approval by Nov. 14 would trigger snap elections. If approved, it would be the country's first ratified spending package in more than 3 1/2 years. The ruling coalition has a razor-thin majority in parliament.
In a bid to lower housing costs that have skyrocketed since 2008, Lieberman and the housing and interior ministries unveiled a plan to rapidly increase the supply of new housesto be constructed by 280,000 between 2022 and 2025.
The government also set a target for hundreds of thousands more units in the coming years partly by converting offices into residential housing.
The plan also includes raising the purchase tax on real estate investors to 8% and prohibiting the use of apartments for vacation rentals -- such as Airbnb -- in central Israel.
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