|Knesset again postpones vote on Netanyahu's flagship neo-liberal reform|
|Wednesday, 21 March 2012 16:04|
The Knesset has deferred debate on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's flagship neo-liberal planning and housing reform due to the growing public struggle against the bill and a dispute over some of the provisions between two of his coalition partners, Shas and Yisrael Beiteinu.
MK Dov Khenin (Hadash), who has been leading the parliamentary fight against the proposed housing reform, said yesterday that quite aside from the Shas -Yisrael Beiteinu dispute, there is a growing realization among MKs that it would be a mistake to pass the bill. Though the legislation's goal is to streamline approval of minor construction such as the enclosure of balconies, and thereby also to lower costs, Khenin said it would create extreme chaos in the planning process and would thus actually increase housing costs.
Political sources said Tuesday that the delay could doom the legislation. Knesset elections must be held by the fall of next year, they explained, and the closer the elections get, the harder it will be for Netanyahu to get his coalition partners to come to a consensus.
Knesset members said Netanyahu has acknowledged in recent weeks that if the special Knesset committee set up to approve the bill did not complete its work by the Knesset's spring recess, which begins today, he would have trouble garnering a majority. The prime minister initially aimed to have the plenum pass the legislation in final reading today, but now he will apparently have to give up even on his fallback position: that the committee approve the bill before the recess begins, so the plenum could vote as soon as parliament reconvenes in May.
|Last Updated on Wednesday, 21 March 2012 16:18|