Government Report - Correcting Budgeting Distortions Part of...
Government Report - Correcting Budgeting Distortions Part of Arab Economic Integration
In July, the Ministry of Finance and the Authority for Economic Development for the Arab Sector made public a 120-page report entitled Systemic Program for Economic Integration of Arab Society by Correcting Distortions in Government Allocations (Hebrew). This report both acknowledges and details ways in which government budgeting mechanisms may have resulted in disadvantages for Arab citizens, and contributed to economic gaps between Jewish and Arab citizens. The report refers to the increasing government focus on economic development of Arab citizens and that budget allocations may have been made "in a manner unaligned with policies and criteria for supporting weak communities."
This report served as the conceptual backbone for the historic, NIS 10-15 billion Economic Development Plan for the Arab Sector (the "Plan") that was approved on December 30th and is in its first year of implementation. Beyond its unprecedented scope and scale, the Plan is groundbreaking in its call for proportional budgeting by government ministries. Publication of the report adds an important layer of official recognition, acknowledging that the issue of budgetary distortions has been internalized by the Government. This is an issue that civil society organizations worked for many years to bring to government attention.