JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s Cabinet approved a two-year state budget that will cut all ministry budgets, including defense, by 6 percent.
The Cabinet approved the $77.4 billion budget Wednesday following late-night talks to iron out details and get the Histadrut Labor Federation on board. The new budget also will raise the value-added-tax 1 percent and could apply the tax to fruits and vegetables for the first time.
Twenty Cabinet members voted in favor of the bill and four, all members of the Shas Party, voted against.
The defense budget will be cut by nearly $400 million, according to reports.
Schools in the nation’s 13 largest cities went on strike Wednesday to oppose proposed cuts to the education budget.