New Israeli finance minister says no tax hikes, budget focus on 2022

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JERUSALEM, June 14 (Reuters) - Israel's new government will not raise taxes and is committed to passing a two-year 2021-22 budget, although time constraints mean the budget impact will mostly be felt in 2022, Finance Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Monday.

The cross-partisan coalition under Prime Minister Naftali Bennett was confirmed on Sunday, ending years of caretaker governments under Benjamin Netanyahu during which Israel worked with month-to-month rather than annual budgets, including through the coronavirus pandemic.

"There will be no tax hike. We oppose a tax hike. Taxes should not be raised, and there will be no going crazy on the budget issue," Lieberman told reporters.

He said the various coalition parties had agreed to draft a two-year budget within 140 days. But, he said, the high Jewish holidays in September would likely cause lags.

"We will not have much leeway to affect anything in 2021," he said. "The emphasis is in 2022."

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Writing by Dan Williams; Editing by Maayan Lubell and Catherine Evans

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