Government to fund IDF relocation from current bases in central Israel to build 60,000 new homes.
By Avital Lahav
An agreement to vacate IDF bases in central Israel and replace them with housing was finalized on Wednesday.
Director General of the PMO Harel Locker, budget division director Amir Levy, and Director General of the Ministry of Defense Dan Harel conducted the deal arranging the timetable and funding for the plan with representatives of the Israel Land Authority. The program intends to build 60,000 new homes.
The arrangement involves vacating the bases in Tel Hashomer, Tzrifin, and Sirkin, as well as a partially vacated base in Ramat Gan. The deal refers to the withdrawal as “an economic withdrawal”, during which the Finance Ministry will fund 80 percent of the IDF’s withdrawal costs, funded by profits from the land purchase.
Accountant General Michal Abadi-Boiangiu has for weeks taken the position that the funding should be listed as a budgetary expenditure in every respect rather than rely on future profits from land purchase.
The disagreement between Abadi-Boiangiu and the signatories to the agreement, particularly the budget division in the finance ministry, has not been settled; but it was decided to sign the agreement and settle it later, when the funding for the land development is needed and when there is an elected finance minister who can rule on the different positions in the ministry.
The parties that signed the agreement, particularly the budget division in the Ministry of Finance, insisted that the agreement should be signed as is. An agreement over how to list expenses and income will come later, whether it is between the professional bodies or by turning to a elected officials to make a ruling.
A Finance Ministry source noted that in the context of rising housing prices, the budget division saw as urgent the signing of the agreement, which the source called “one of the most important signed in the wake of the housing crisis and one of the most serious and in-depth answers that we at the professional level have to the price rises.”
View original Ynet publication at: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4636225,00.html