When Israeli Finance Minister Yair Lapid faced journalists on Sept. 28, presenting the 2015 state budget, he did not conceal his pride. He has kept two of the commitments that have become over the past few weeks his personal mantra: no tax hikes and the approval of the zero value added tax (VAT) plan for first-time home buyers. Otherwise, he has threatened more than once that Yesh Atid would leave the government.
“If the last budget was a crisis budget, the current budget is one of hope and promise. Two years ago, I said, ‘We’ve come to bring about change.’ That change is happening now,” Lapid said in his festive declaration. The text itself sounded more like an opening salvo to launch a political campaign.