Israelis protest budget austerity measures

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Thousands of Israelis marched through Tel Aviv to protest the steep austerity measures that Finance Minister Yair Lapid has proposed for the 2013 budget.

About 10,000 Israelis protested on Saturday night, in a gathering reminiscent of the 2011 social equality protests supported by Lapid.

Smaller demonstrations also took place in Jerusalem, Haifa and other smaller cities.

Israel’s Cabinet is scheduled to discuss the proposed budget for 2013-2014 on Monday.

Austerity measures include a reduction in the child allowance and raising taxes, including a 1.5 percent hike on income and a one percent rise in the value added tax to 18 percent. The fiscal plan must be passed by Aug. 1.