The State Budget: What Are the Alternatives in Planning the Budget?
The Sixth Budget Conference of the Economics and Society Program at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute
In recent years the Economics and Society Program at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute has held annual public discussions before the decision on the coming state budget. In these forums we examine various scenarios that can be derived from alternative budget proposals. The knowledge base created by the program contributes to a thorough discussion. This year we will construct scenarios for the 2015–2016 budget, in light of the government’s commitment to increase the defense budget after Operation Protective Edge and the need to allocate resources for civilian matters—education, health, and poverty reduction. We will propose alternatives to the planned budget that will take into account their potential ramifications for the allocation of resources in these areas and for the need to increase the tax burden. The discussion, now in its sixth consecutive year, is the heart of the public debate over the state budget and receives broad media coverage. At the conference we will also present a social index created for European countries and a new social index that the program participants created for Israel.