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SDF avoids fight with Trump over budget cut - al-Monitor
Congress cut $100 million from that figure in an appropriations reduction in December after Trump signed the Defense Department’s annual authorization that requested a higher figure. It wasn’t immediately clear why the Pentagon had decided to trim the military aid, though the agency slashed funding for the SDF by $200 million from the previous year in its budget for fiscal year 2020.
SDF  budget  Mar15  congress  DoD 
5 weeks ago by elizrael
Syria in Context Weekly Brief - ISSUE #3 - WEEK 21/2018
The government is likely to continue to be forced to live hand to mouth, funneling what little resource it can squeeze out of a largely collapsed or informalized economy into public sector wages, unless it proved able to revive some of its pre-war cash cows, such as the oil sector, which accounted for more than a quarter of Syria’s pre-war budget and almost 40% of its export revenues.

according to the Syrian Investment Agency, the two principal recipient governorates investment in 2015 were Tartous and Sweida attracting a combined 70% of investment despite accounting for not more than 7% of Syria’s pre-war population and 11% of its pre-war economic output. This transformation was aided by the Syrian regime, which offered incentives for business owners to relocate to newly created industrial zones along the coast.
economy  Mar15  corruption  PublicSector  budget  GDP 
march 2019 by elizrael
SYRIA IN CONTEXT Weekly Briefing ISSUE #42 - WEEK 12/2019
a regional breakdown of allocation shows the extraordinary inequities at the heart of the Syrian government structure. For example, heavily-loyalist Latakia and Tartous provinces receive as much as a combined quarter of all public funds, despite hosting barely 10% of Syria’s population. The skew is likely due to the disproportionate patronage bestowed on loyalist communities via public sector jobs and investments (a 2013 decree forces preferential treatment for families of those who died fighting for the Syrian government - overwhelmingly members of loyalist minority communities). Given the government’s fiscal limitations, it is unclear how the Assad regime could re-broaden its patronage to non-loyalist communities without corresponding cuts - meaning layoffs - undermining its own power base.
budget  Mar15  Lattakia  patronage  aid  subsidies 
march 2019 by elizrael
U.S. Sanctions Are Hurting Hezbollah - WINEP
As the fighting subsided in much of Syria over the past three months, Hezbollah has brought many of its personnel home, apart from the combat troops and logistics forces stationed in the Damascus area, Deir al-Zour, and south Syria. In particular, it has redeployed many of its newer fighters, whom it recruited during the war on a contractual basis and is no longer obligated to pay now that they are back home.

Fighters and their families are beginning to complain about lost wages as well—a largely unprecedented development. Married fighters are reportedly receiving only half of their salaries (which normally range from $600 to $1,200 per month), and single fighters are receiving only $200 per month.

In other sectors, Hezbollah sources quoted by local media reported that employees in its religious institutions have not been paid in three months. The group has also closed around a thousand offices and apartments throughout Lebanon, merged many of its institutions, and frozen all hiring. Its social services budget has decreased as well, following a previous reduction in 2013.
rumors  Hizbollah  sanctions  budget 
march 2019 by elizrael
Why Massoud Barzani returned to Baghdad - Al-Monitor, Dec 1, 2018
The agreement on activating the Kirkuk oil pipeline to the Turkish port of Ceyhan through the KRG is only common interest between the federal government and the KRG. Up until recently, this oil would be exported to Iran by road through the province of Sulaimaniyah where the PUK headquarters are located. Meanwhile, the PUK strongly opposed the export of Kirkuk oil to Turkey, saying that Barzani’s party controls all financial benefits and does not evenly distribute them.

However, the recent US sanctions on Iran restored the pipeline’s importance and thus rebuilt the relationship between the federal government and the KRG.

Barzani is convinced that it would be difficult to restore the status quo that prevailed before the referendum and implement or amend Article 140 concerning the disputed areas.

He seeks to achieve political influence in the capital, which could allow him to obtain the possible gains he desires instead of resorting to confrontation.
KDP  Iraq  Barzani  BarhamSalih  Sadr  politics  Kirkuk  oil  budget  Iran  trade  Turkey 
december 2018 by elizrael
Slowing Jordan’s Slide Into Debt - Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Jordan has managed to reduce budgetary deficits for 2018, but rising operational costs and stagnant sources of revenue will keep it reliant on foreign aid.
Jordan  aid  budget 
march 2018 by elizrael
Trump Keeps Getting Mad When He Learns What His Policies Do
No occupant of the Oval Office has ever shared the average person’s disinterest in policy, parliamentary procedure, and the rudiments of American civics to the extent that Trump does. He is America’s first “low-information voter” president.
Trump  TrumpAdministration  decision_making  health  budget  Parliament 
october 2017 by elizrael
Syrian Govt to Relocate Industrial, Craft Zones in Coastal Regions - Al-Watan, Oct 18, 2017
The director-general of industrial cities at the Ministry of Local Administration, Akram al-Hassan, said that plans are underway to develop a number of industrial and artisanal zones on the Syrian coast after a visit by the prime minister to the provinces of Tartous and Lattakia. The estimated price to establish six industrial and artisanal zones in the two provinces is estimated to cost more than 5.3 billion Syrian pounds ($10.8 million), he said.
Mar15  Tartous  Lattakia  industry  budget 
october 2017 by elizrael
ISIS and the New War Economy | Chatham House, June 8, 2017
Another way to launder this money is by selling Iraqi dinars and buying US dollars, which can be more easily used transnationally. Throughout Baghdad, the organization either owns (via third parties) or relies on currency exchange companies in order to exchange the money. According to insider sources, ISIS is also actively engaging in the Central Bank of Iraq’s (CBI) currency auctions. These auctions are held by the CBI to buy back Iraqi dinars in exchange for US dollars as a means of stabilizing the currency, thus unwittingly providing a route for ISIS to buy dollars from the CBI and sell their massive reserve of dinars.

The next phase of attempts to ‘degrade and defeat’ ISIS will be multifaceted but will have to tackle this new stage of its war economy. ISIS will be investing its cash reserves into both informal and formal economies.
ISIS  Iraq  economy  corruption  crime  budget 
august 2017 by elizrael
The sultanate of Oman is taking a kicking - Economist, July 8, 2017
Forty-seven years on, Oman is again in need of a strong leader to mend its finances. Lavish welfare (and an iron grip) keep an oft-rebellious people, now numbering 4m, quiescent. The Sultan calmed protests during the Arab Spring of 2011 by hiking public expenditure by 70% over the three years that followed. But since the oil price crashed in 2014 he can no longer afford that. To make matters worse, Oman’s Arab neighbours are withholding aid; they are vexed by its friendship with Iran, neutrality in Yemen and now its closeness to Qatar. The Sultan ran a budget deficit of 15% of GDP in 2015 and 21% in 2016. But spending goes on rising regardless. In 2016 he doubled the unaccounted part of the budget, which includes his own allowance, promised state employees another salary rise, and took delivery of a fresh batch of British-made Typhoon warplanes. As the cost of servicing Oman’s debt rises, doubts grow about whether it will repay it. In May S&P, a ratings agency, cut Oman’s bonds to junk status. The Sultan may yet become the first Gulf leader to call in the IMF.
The 2020 Vision he unveiled in 1995 aimed to wean the economy off oil dependence, unleash the private sector and create a broad industrial base. But last year, he renamed the vision 2040. Oil exports were only supposed to supply 40% of government revenues by now, down from 66% in 1995. Instead, that share has grown to over 80%.
Oman  oil  budget  protests  authoritarian_regime  Qatar 
july 2017 by elizrael
עשור לשליטת חמאס בעזה: משבר החשמל – פתח נוסף לרווח פוליטי - וואלה! חדשות
על פי הערכות שונות ברשות הפלסטינית ובישראל, חמאס גובה מתושבי הרצועה מסים בהיקף של כמאה מיליון שקלים מדי חודש. אמנם, סכום משמעותי מהכסף הזה הולך לתשלום משכורות לאנשיו, שכבר חודשים ארוכים אינם מקבלים משכורת מלאה, אך חלק משמעותי מהכסף הזה מיועד למטרות צבאיות. לפי אותן הערכות, חמאס למעשה מוציא כ-130 מיליון דולר בשנה על הזרוע הצבאית שלו והכנותיו למלחמה, כלומר 10.8 מיליון דולר בשבוע – כמעט 40 מיליון שקלים בחודש. חמאס היה יכול למצוא 15 מיליון שקלים בחודש לפתרון בעיית החשמל המגיע מישראל.
Hamas  Gaza  budget  terrorism  electricity  Palestinian_Authority 
june 2017 by elizrael
חדשות 2 - "לא נשלם על החשמל של חמאס"
עוד עולה כי הרשות העבירה מסמך לחמאס בו כתוב כי הם מוכנים לשלם 65% מחשבון החשמל בלבד, 25 מיליון שקלים לעומת 40 מיליון ששולמו עד עכשיו. "אם אתם רוצים לשלם את החשבון של חמאס זו בעיה שלכם, אנחנו לא חוששים מאסון הומניטרי", הבהירו הגורמים לבכירים הישראלים.
Palestinian_Authority  Israel  Hamas  Gaza  electricity  budget 
june 2017 by elizrael
Gaza to see forced military retirement in June - Al-Monitor, May 31, 2017
Until June, every member of the Palestinian security forces is entitled to optional early retirement, provided that he is at least 45 years old if he is an officer and at least 35 if a noncommissioned officer or staff member, with a monthly pension of at least 70% of his salary.

However, under the move being imposed by PA President Mahmoud Abbas, all military staff in Gaza born as of June 31, 1966, must retire, while those born after that date will have the option of voluntary retirement.

Until the end of 2016, the PA employed a total of 156,000 civil and military personnel; that figure included 62,000 employees in Gaza — 26,000 of whom are civil servants and 36,000 military staff, according to Farid Ghannam, the director of the Budget Department at the Palestinian Ministry of Finance.
Gaza  Palestinian_Authority  police  budget  salaries 
june 2017 by elizrael
Dream on hold | The Economist, July 7, 2016
Iran and Turkey are training, arming and directing rival Kurdish militias, say Kurdish intelligence chiefs from both sides. Mr Barzani echoes Turkey in describing the YPG as the Syrian arm of the PKK, the Kurdish armed group waging a bombing campaign against the Turkish state. For three months earlier this year, Mr Barzani joined Turkey in closing the border. He imposed a siege on the YPG at the height of its war with IS. “Our wounded came to the borders and were forced to go back,” protests the YPG’s political representative in Sulaymaniyah.

While Mr Barzani works with Turkey to thwart the PKK and its ally the YPG, Mr Talabani (with a nod from Iran) helps build them up. Both armed groups operate from his territory, and the PKK is said to have helped him bolster his hold on Kirkuk. Some say their mission to join up the disparate Kurdish dots fits in with Iran’s hopes of pushing west to the Mediterranean like Darius I, an ancient Persian king.

In the meantime, the rivalry between Turkey and Iran is prising Kurdistan apart. Neither country wants to allow the birth of a Kurdish state that could inspire and lend material assistance to their own Kurdish separatists. Western support for the Kurds, too, has its limits. Since 1991, when the UN set up a modest Kurdish haven in Iraq’s snow-capped mountains, Western powers have been the Kurds’ guarantors.
KRG  internal_struggle  Iran  Turkey  PKK  foreign_aid  economy  budget 
october 2016 by elizrael
Islamic State Caliphate Shrinks a Further 12 Percent in 2016, IHS Says | IHS Online Newsroom
Territory controlled by the Islamic State shrunk by 12 percent in the first six months of 2016, according to new analysis released today by IHS Inc. (NYSE: IHS), the leading global source of critical information and insight.

In 2015, the Islamic State’s caliphate shrunk by 12,800 km2 to 78,000 km2, a net loss of 14 percent. In the first six months of 2016, that territory shrunk again by 12 percent. As of 4 July 2016, the Islamic State controls roughly 68,300 km2 in Iraq and Syria, which is roughly the size of Ireland or the US state of West Virginia.

In April 2016, the IHS Conflict Monitor team outlined the decline in primary revenue sources for the Islamic State. In mid-2015, the Islamic State’s overall monthly revenue was around $80 million. As of March 2016, the Islamic State’s monthly revenue dropped to $56 million. “This figure has probably continued to decrease since March by at least another 35 percent,"said Ludovico Carlino, senior analyst at IHS. “Combined with the military setbacks on the ground, this is having an impact on the internal cohesion of the group as indicated by a marked increase in defections and desertions since January 2016.”
Mar15  ISIS  maps  budget  analysis  Aleppo  SDF 
july 2016 by elizrael
Islamic State Extends Reach as It Suffers Defeats - WSJ, July 4, 2016
During a rare spate of attacks in Jordan recently, Western officials in the capital Amman intercepted messages from Islamic State leaders urging supporters to spread terror at home rather than join militants across the border in Syria.

The orders to disparate militants stem in part from the group’s dwindling access to the Turkish border, previously the major crossing point for foreign recruits coming from Turkey to Syria, and also from Islamic State’s inability to financially support its caliphate. Its ranks have gone from 25,000 to 20,000, U.S. administration officials say.
ISIS  Mar15  budget 
july 2016 by elizrael
Poor Planning And War Led To Huge Increase In Govt Jobs & Pensions In Iraq - Musings on Iraq, June 4, 2016
A chart provided by Moody’s Investors Service shows a huge growth in public outlaws for civil workers and pensions from 2014 to 2015. In 2014 salaries and pensions for government workers made up 46% of state spending according to the International Monetary Fund. By 2015 that percentage had increased to 60%. Part of that was due to the war as Baghdad took on paying the Hashd al-Shaabi forces to fight the Islamic State. It was also due to poor planning as the parliament and ruling parties have consistently talked about increasing the number of civil employees to fight unemployment and also to increase patronage networks to stay in power. The main losers in this decision was non-oil investment, which went from 17% of expenditures in 2014 to 10%, and the oil sector that went from 16% to 12%.
PublicSector  Iraq  oil  budget 
june 2016 by elizrael
Iraq: What was that all about? | Talisman Gate, Again, May 10, 2016
watching Tehran from the vantage point of Baghdad as it stumbles to provide answers for what comes next is a fascinating experience. Here is my subjective assessment of Iran’s position and future options based on what I heard: The Iranians are astounded that the Americans don’t really care about competing for the Middle East anymore. They are in the midst of a fundamental policy realignment, one that is more tailored to Obama’s disinterest in the region—elements of which they believe to be irreversible under future presidencies—rather than the deal they struck with him. The Iranians would have had a field day with the political drama in Baghdad had they thought, as they did in the past, that any of that really matters for Washington. Yet they have lost their sparring partner, and they find themselves in a very different strategic landscape, one that they have yet to wrap their minds around. That is why they could not say much more that parroting what Sistani was saying throughout the crisis; they didn’t know what they wanted from a post-American Middle East, and they suddenly realized that they were saddled with an irksome Iraq. So much so that Iranians only piped up when Sadrist crowds began chanting anti-Iranian and anti-Suleimani slogans, and even then, all the Iranians had the energy for by way of projecting force was to deploy some of their more-pliable PMFs around the Green Zone, and revving up a few impromptu car parades, horns blaring, waving the Iranian flag in Basra. Iranian angst over what lies ahead may all add up to a decoupling of their Syria and Iraq strategies: Syria because they are in too deep, and Iraq because it is too much of a headache.
Abadi  reform  Iran  Iraq  Sadr  budget  PublicSector  oil  IMF  WorldBank  politics  clergy 
may 2016 by elizrael
Young Saudis See Cushy Jobs Vanish Along With Nation’s Oil Wealth -, Feb 16, 2016
For younger Saudis — 70 percent of the population is under 30 — the oil shock has meant a lowering of expectations as they face the likelihood that they will have to work harder than their parents, enjoy less job security and receive fewer perks.

“For the older generation, it was easier,” said Abdulrahman Alkhelaifi, 20, during a break from his job at McDonald’s. “They’d get out of university and get a government job. Now you need an advanced degree.”
Saudi-Arabia  labor  youth  oil  budget  PublicSector 
may 2016 by elizrael
ISIS sells cars, fish to offset oil losses - Reuters, April 29, 2016
Fishing in hundreds of lakes north of Baghdad generates millions of dollars a month, according to the report. Some owners fleeing the area abandoned their farms while others agreed to cooperate with Islamic State to avoid being attacked.

The militants also tax agricultural land and impose a 10 percent levy on poultry and other duties on a range of imports into their territory, it added.

New revenues are also being generated from car dealerships and factories once run by the Iraqi government in areas seized by the militants.

Those have helped offset the losses from lower oil income, though perhaps only partially. The U.S.-based analysis firm IHS said last week that Islamic State revenues had fallen by around a third since last summer to around $56 million a month.
Iraq  ISIS  budget  taxes 
may 2016 by elizrael
IS faces budget crunch, cutting perks and trimming salaries - AP, Feb 16, 2016
"Not just the militants. Any civil servant, from the courts to the schools, they cut their salary by 50 percent," said a Raqqa activist now living in the Turkish city of Gaziantep, who remains in close contact with his native city. But that apparently wasn't enough close the gap for a group that needs money to replace weapons lost in airstrikes and battles, and pays its fighters first and foremost. Those two expenses account for two-thirds of its budget, according to an estimate by Aymenn Jawad al-Tamimi, a researcher with the Middle East Forum who sources Islamic State documents,

Within the last two weeks, the extremist group started accepting only dollars for "tax" payments, water and electric bills, according to the Raqqa activist, who asked to be identified by his nom de guerre Abu Ahmad for his safety. "Everything is paid in dollars," he said. His account was bolstered by another ex-Raqqa resident, who, like Ahmad, also relies on communications with a network of family and acquaintances still in the city.

An exile from al-Bab said low-level fighters there have begun to grumble, and townspeople have overheard Islamic State officials discussing crippling airstrikes on oil infrastructure in Syria and Iraq and the cutoff of supply lines and revenue sources. The resident, who asked only that his first name Oussama be used because he still has family in the city, said dozens of residents of al-Bab have fled, ignoring orders from the extremists.

"You can sense the frustration, their morale is down," Oussama said of the fighters.
ISIS  budget  Mar15  Iraq  Raqqa 
april 2016 by elizrael
Creative Accounting:The Financial Dictatorship In Iraqi Kurdistan
But it has not. In fact the last time the regional government managed to send a draft budget to Parliament was in 2013. Which means that basically Iraqi Kurdistan has been operating without an official budget for around two years now and, by all accounts, will likely continue to do so.
KRG  budget  authoritarian_regime 
april 2016 by elizrael
Pro-Assad Militia Angers Fighters, Supporters With Salary Cuts - Al-Souria Net, Mar 9, 2016
According to the text of the decision issued on Sunday, the militia leadership decided to decrease the salary of “fixed fighters” and “the administrative units” to 15,000 Syrian pounds, and “special operations” fighters to 40,000 pounds, while depriving “units of fighters from various ranks” of salaries, including “state employees,” while also reducing the salary of “military and civilian retirees” by half.

A regime supporter wrote, commenting on the decision: “They want to drive people out and drive us mad. The official who came out with this decision definitely has a salary of 10 million pounds, damnit. Isn’t it enough that the wife of a martyr and her children in the NDF are dying of hunger and living off the goodwill of others? Enough is enough. God help the people and protect the orphans and mothers.”
NDF  salaries  budget  Mar15  Shia 
march 2016 by elizrael
Downsizing the Popular Mobilization Units | Talisman Gate, Again, Dec 30, 2015
On paper, the PMUs are supposed to receive about 1 billion USD in the 2016 budget. That is unlikely to pan out. The shortfall is not going to be compensated with Iranian money, given that Iran has assigned the bulk of its available resources to the Syrian front per its agreement with Russia.

The lack of money, as well as documented abuses against Sunni civilians by some of the pro-Iran PMUs, may lend itself to a gradual eclipse of the latter forces should the initiative be spearheaded by Abadi with American prodding.
Hashd  Iraq  budget  Iran  Military 
january 2016 by elizrael
Russia, Turkey and the rise of the Islamic State | Middle East Eye, Dec 22, 2015
And the accusation that IS is - or at least, was - trading oil in Turkey is undoubtedly true. In October 2014, David Cohen, the US undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, gave a speech in which he said: "According to our information, as of last month, ISIL [IS] was selling oil at substantially discounted prices to a variety of middlemen, including some from Turkey, who then transported the oil to be resold.

There was a Turkish crackdown against IS later in 2014, with border crossings closed and some vetting taking place of who was crossing between Syria and Turkey; some would-be IS holy warriors were even arrested. Turkey, however, still has not closed down a 60-mile stretch of its 565-mile border with Syria that is held by IS.

And the accusation that IS is - or at least, was - trading oil in Turkey is undoubtedly true. In October 2014, David Cohen, the US undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, gave a speech in which he said: "According to our information, as of last month, ISIL [IS] was selling oil at substantially discounted prices to a variety of middlemen, including some from Turkey, who then transported the oil to be resold.

"It also appears that some of the oil emanating from territory where ISIL operates has been sold to Kurds in Iraq, and then resold into Turkey. And in a further indication of the Assad regime’s depravity, it seems the Syrian government has made an arrangement to purchase oil from ISIL. … We estimate that beginning in mid-June, ISIL has earned approximately $1 million a day from oil sales."

The evidence is that by late 2014 and early 2015, under the pressure of the US-led coalition airstrikes, IS’s oil income was severely diminished. But IS’s oil revenue appears to have crept back up later in 2015. Treasury sanctions at the end of September 2015 disclosed that Sami al-Jabouri, an Iraqi who had been IS’s shari’a council chief and deputy in southern Mosul, was IS’s supervisor of oil and gas, antiquities, and mineral resources operations beginning in April 2015.
Turkey  oil  ISIS  Russia  budget  smuggling  Mar15 
january 2016 by elizrael
The War Economy in the Syrian Conflict: The Government’s Hands-Off Tactics-Carnegie, Dec 15, 2015
The Syrian government’s management of the war economy has long mirrored its perception of political turmoil. As unrest entered its first year, the government continued to deny the true dimensions and ramifications of the crisis, while relying on alternatives, as reflected in the famous statement by Syria’s foreign minister, Walid Muallem, that Europe could be struck off the economic map and replaced with other alternatives. For this reason, the Syrian government shied away from turning its economy into a war economy until the crisis entered its second year. Only in June 2012 did President Bashar al-Assad announce that the second government led by then prime minister Riad Hijab was a war government.
Until then, it was unthinkable for the Syrian government to change the market economy mechanisms that had been in place since 2005, although its interventions in the economy and the markets were insufficient. Driven by its ambition to show off its monetary strength, the government depleted its monetary reserves, and it oversold hard currencies and gold, mostly on the black market to the benefit of swindlers. The Central Bank of Syria continues to post on its website the names of thousands of traders and citizens who bought dollars through fraudulent means, urging them to return the dollars to the treasury.
The Syrian government’s open economic policy runs against its literature, as published in the Syrian presidency’s Arab Encyclopedia. In times of war, reads this literature, “The strong need for military supplies, associated with severe shortage in civilian goods as a result of mounting demand, and market chaos may prompt governments, regardless of the economic system in place, to intervene in the market, allocate resources, and distribute goods based on administrative decisions that may sidestep market mechanisms, where need be.”
But as pressure mounted, the economic sanctions exacted their toll, and the monetary reserves faced several difficulties as the alternative economies of Iran and the BRICS group failed to bridge the import-export gap. The Syrian government adopted a two-pronged approach: on one hand, it intervened in the market to the best of its capacity—according to former deputy prime minister Qadri Jamil—and, on the other hand, it allowed traders to do as they pleased. A Syrian media outlet reflected this new hands-off policy with the following headline: “The First Official Syrian Reaction to Arab Sanctions . . . the Minister for Economy Calls on Traders to Do as They Please.”
Mar15  budget  economy  inflation  poverty  food  unemployment  Syria  corruption  crime  smuggling  oil 
december 2015 by elizrael
From Militia to State Force: the Transformation of al-Hashd al-Shaabi - Syria in Crisis, Nov 16, 2015
The older and more powerful groups that assembled under the al-Hashd al-Shaabi flag in 2014 are Iranian-backed Shia Islamist militias that do not report directly to Sistani, and which are also not necessarily committed to Abadi’s success as prime minister.

For example, Hadi al-Ameri, who leads a powerful militia group known as the Badr Organization, is wary of Abadi’s intentions. He sought the job of interior minister when Abadi took office in 2014, but was passed over in favor of another Badr Organization member. Nouri al-Maliki, whom Abadi replaced as prime minister in September 2014, is also keen on undermining his successor. Maliki has a close relationship with another large Hashd faction, Asaib Ahl al-Haq, and is rumored to be creating his own military group. The third major Hashd group, known as Kataib Hezbollah, is similarly strongly committed to the Iranian theocratic doctrine known as velayat-e faqih and seeks to maintain Iranian influence in Iraq even at the expense of Abadi’s Shia-majority government.

Many of Iraq’s Sunni Arabs complain of what they perceive to be the sectarian motivations of these paramilitary groups. During their march, members of the Abbas Fighting Division shout “Ali,” while many other al-Hashd al-Shaabi groups exclaimed “We Obey You, O Hussein!” during the battle for Ramadi. These are commonly used Shia chants and as such invoke sectarian concerns among many Iraqi Sunnis, whether or not the chants are necessarily intended to be sectarian or are merely figures of speech.

Despite Abadi’s initial concerns, the prime minister has been an important actor in the transformation of al-Hashd al-Shaabi from irregular “Shia militias” into an official extension of the ISF.

When speaking of battles against the Islamic State, for instance, Abadi regularly mentions both the Iraqi Army and al-Hashd al-Shaabi. He has also begun to add the predominantly Sunni Arab tribal fighters (abna al-ashair) to quell Sunni anxieties and to project a cross-sectarian narrative.

More critically, Abadi has allocated $1 billion from Iraq’s state budget to al-Hashd al-Shaabi and government agencies have been tasked with training Hashd fighters. For instance, the governorate of Dhi Qar in southern Iraq has opened four camps to train thousands of new Hashd recruits.

It is a calculated bargain and an effort to reclaim, in a Weberian sense, the state monopoly over the authorization of force. By making al-Hashd al-Shaabi a wing of his security forces, Abadi wants to incorporate an otherwise dangerous competitor in order to gain leverage, assert authority, and reduce the armed groups’ dependence on Iran and other factions that work against him. But it is a risky move, since it enshrines the government’s dependence on al-Hashd al-Shaabi and undermines the Iraqi army.
budget  militia  Shia  Iraq  Iran  Hizbollah 
december 2015 by elizrael
The Costs of Russia's Air Expeditionary Campaign - The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Dec 11, 2015
The air campaign in Syria, Russia's first expeditionary force deployment in decades, comes with numerous challenges and a growing price tag.
budget  Mar15  intervention  Russia  attack  airforce 
december 2015 by elizrael
Jihadology Podcast: Reality of The Islamic State’s Finances and Economy | JIHADOLOGY: A clearinghouse for jihādī primary source material, original analysis, and translation service
IS funding prior to 2013
How IS funding compares to AQ
Current funding streams, particularly those that are less well known
Evolution of IS’ economy in the past year and a half
Potential for IS to export its economic model to its provinces outside Iraq and Syria
Sustainability of IS finances and its near to medium-term trajectory
budget  ISIS  taxes  oil  DeirEzZor  Mar15 
december 2015 by elizrael
The Real Value of the ISIS Antiquities Trade - The New Yorker, Dec 4, 2015
With no apparent plan to quell the looting in Syria and Iraq, the government’s approach seems to be to scare or prosecute unscrupulous buyers. But Hixenbaugh argued that an “insatiable demand in the West” for looted Near Eastern antiquities does not actually exist. “There are hundreds of thousands of legally acquired antiquities from Mesopotamia in the United States,” he said. “Palmyra reliefs are generally unpopular. They often go unsold at auction.” A reporter who writes about the art market was unimpressed with Abu Sayyaf’s hoard. He leaned over and whispered to me, “The idea that there’s a shadowy mass of collectors interested in purchasing crap that they can never sell again is absolutely ludicrous. Nobody wants esoteric, untraceable numismatics.”
Mar15  ISIS  looting  archeology  crime  obama_administration  smuggling  budget 
december 2015 by elizrael
Isis Inc: Loot and taxes keep jihadi economy churning -, Dec 14, 2015
Trucks travelling from Iraq into Isis territory are charged customs duties that yield about $140m a year, according to accounts from truckers and Iraqi analysts.

Abu Mohammed, another trader who sells vegetables from rebel territory to Isis areas and also wanted to remain anonymous, says some of his friends moved their trade to Isis territory because business is more secure. “You could leave your warehouses open and no one would steal a pin. All you have to do is pay zakat,” he says.

Isis pays particular attention to the amount of land each farmer is cultivating. Farmers told the FT that Isis tax collectors intimidate local harvesting companies and encourage farmers to inform on each others’ yields in order to estimate how much tax they should be charged.

The group profits several times from the same crop, according to traders and farmers who have worked with the jihadis. It takes zakat from wheat harvests, for example, but also buys a portion of the remaining crop to sell later in the season at better rates, and then taxes the trucks transporting it.

Even with salary transfers halted, remittances from relatives abroad to those living under Isis’ control offers the group a taxation opportunity. Relatives use the “hawala” system, an informal money transfer arrangement similar to Western Union that is almost impossible to regulate. Locals say there are now streets lined with hawala offices, carefully monitored by Isis militants, who skim off a small percentage.

Syrians and Iraqis living under Isis have been fleeing, diminishing the pool of taxpayers. Ali, a primary school teacher from Mayadeen city who fled last month, says most doctors, engineers and teachers from the town escaped over the summer.
An agricultural official from Mosul, meanwhile, says fewer than 2m dunams (50,000 hectares) will be cultivated in Isis territory this year, down from 3m a year ago. Livestock numbers, he says, have already dropped by half.

“The agricultural area will keep shrinking, production will deteriorate until eventually the farmer on his own will simply quit because he can’t profit,” says the official.

But many say there is a limit to the pressure Isis can exert on the remaining population. In frontline areas and extremely impoverished villages, Isis officials exact only small flat fees or forgo zakat completely. Ali, the school teacher, says Isis tried to impose a 20,000 lira fee (about $50) for newly produced textbooks earlier this year but repealed it when locals stopped sending children to school.
taxes  budget  ISIS  trade  agriculture  Mar15  Iraq 
december 2015 by elizrael
Degraded, not yet destroyed | The Economist, Dec 12, 2015
Some businessmen welcomed the ability to pay a single fee for access to a caliphate spanning Iraq and Syria, rather than the many fees that multiple militias squabbling for control charge elsewhere in the area. An income tax of 30% is less than the 50% that Shia militias impose in neighbouring Salaheddin province. Some 200,000 Sunni Arabs who initially fled IS rule to the ungoverned spaces south-west of Kirkuk later returned home.

Earlier this year, monitors estimated the caliphate’s GDP at $6 billion. That is a huge sum for a terrorist group, but peanuts for a state of 7m at war. IS’s army consumes over 70% of revenues, according to the IHS report. Foreign fighters are particularly costly, with foreign Arabs being paid at least twice as much as locals and European fighters getting over three times as much. The Mosul windfall was quickly spent, forcing IS to mount fresh raids in search of loot. Waving IS flags and spouting jihadist ideology, Sunnis have chased their Christian neighbours from the prime farmlands of the Nineveh plains—a prize they had long coveted.

Feeling the strain, IS’s taxes and fines have climbed and grown more arbitrary. Where once governors across its 12 provinces fixed tax rates, now local municipalities do. Scores of imprisoned suspected collaborators have paid upwards of $30,000 to avoid having their heads cut off. Tensions fuelled by pay differentials have degenerated into skirmishes between local and foreign fighters in Tal Afar. Young men no longer attend Friday prayers for fear of being conscripted.

The bombing surge since October has prompted some to ask whether IS will survive. Of its 160 Syrian oilfields, 20 have come under attack. Al-Omar, Syria’s second largest, has faced four attacks in a fortnight from American, British and Russian planes. Total oil production has reportedly fallen from 100,000 barrels a day to below 40,000. Iraqis from Tal Afar say tanker traffic between Mosul and Raqqa has fallen sharply following repeated attacks. After strikes on big refineries, refining has become a cottage industry. Fuel prices have soared, as IS salaries and morale have fallen. Fearful of an exodus, IS has raised the cost of an exit permit to $1,800, and demands two named guarantors, who risk being murdered should its holder not return. So far, though, hopes for a collapse remain just that.
ISIS  Mar15  budget  oil  localGovt  taxes 
december 2015 by elizrael
Putin's Quagmire in Syria Proves Obama Prescient - Bloomberg Business, De 9, 2015
Russia initially earmarked just $1.2 billion for the war for all of 2016, an official familiar with the matter said. Outlays were running at about $4 million a day before Putin’s mid-November surge in troops and hardware, which doubled the cost to $8 million, or almost $3 billion on an annualized basis, according to the Royal United Services Institute, or RUSI, a military research group based in London.

Russia now has as many as 5,000 servicemen on the ground, more than double the original estimate of 2,000, according to RUSI researcher Igor Sutyagin. While Putin continues to rule out a land offensive, hundreds of advisers are already embedded with the Syrian army, he said.
Russia  foreign_aid  ForeignFighters  intervention  budget  Mar15 
december 2015 by elizrael
Confessions of an ISIS Spy- The Daily Beast, Nov 2015
Nor was his sense of irony directed merely at the braggadocio of the muhajireen. He had been present at the battle for Kobani, the Kurdish border town in northern Syria besieged for months by ISIS and eventually liberated, thanks largely to U.S. airpower. Abu Khaled had witnessed firsthand just how poorly ISIS’s soldiers fought: more like F Troop than Delta Force.

“We took Khalat Hadid within 45 minutes,” Abu Khaled said. “Then my guys ran away.” They ran away? That’s right. “‘It’s free,’ they told me,” that is, liberated. Apparently they mistook the fall of a village for the permanent seizure of one. Meanwhile, the other two units refused to enter their designated villages. “They said, ‘Ah, it’s too late, blah, blah,’” Abu Khaled recalled, in disgust. So they returned to Sarrin not so much in defeat as in indifference. Then the coalition started hitting the ISIS locations at 4 a.m. Warplanes killed 23 of Abu Khaled’s men within a few minutes.

Abu Khaled interrogated his soldiers to find out why they had not fought that night. “‘Why didn’t you go?’” he asked some of those who’d gone AWOL. “‘I mean, we were three groups. One of you attacked, the others didn’t.’”

Their response: They were tired of being sent to certain death.
ISIS  Mar15  localGovt  budget  extrajudicial_killing 
november 2015 by elizrael
Russia Spending $4 Million a Day in Syria to Back Assad Regime |
Unlike the U.S., the Russian Defense Ministry has put out no information on the costs of its operations in Syria, but an analysis prepared by Britain's IHS Jane's think tank for the Moscow Times estimated the cost at about $4 million daily, with a total of between $80 million and $115 million spent from Sept. 30, when airstrikes began, through Oct. 20.
Russia  intervention  Mar15  budget 
october 2015 by elizrael
Soaring passport demand nets Syria more than $500 mn - AFP
Syria has netted more than $500 million from passport fees this year, after raising charges for those obtained abroad to bolster foreign exchange reserves, the government said in a report Monday.

The spike comes despite authorities doubling the cost of the process, requiring citizens abroad pay $400 for a new passport and $200 to renew one.
Inside the country, a new passport costs about $17.
refugees  Mar15  budget 
october 2015 by elizrael
Repentance: Financial Income for the Islamic State :: Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi
It also turns out that repentance is apparently a source of revenue for IS, as a fee is charged for the initial act of repentance with additional payment required for subsequent 'renewal' of repentance. This is something that tends not to come to light in the documentary evidence. Below I have translated the testimony this month of pro-IS source Omar Fawaz of Mosul regarding payments for repentance. It appears the sums are quite hefty and have contributed to the harsh negative impact on living standards, which will only be compounded by the most recent Iraqi government decision to stop direct salary payments to employees in areas controlled by IS. More generally, the testimony is important in illustrating the economic hardship faced by a growing number of residents under IS rule, something that was predictable from the outset:
ISIS  budget  Iraq  Mar15 
september 2015 by elizrael
Secret CIA effort in Syria faces large funding cut - WaPo, June 12,2015
At $1 billion, Syria-related operations account for about $1 of every $15 in the CIA’s overall budget, judging by spending levels revealed in documents The Washington Post obtained from former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.

U.S. officials said the CIA has trained and equipped nearly 10,000 fighters sent into Syria over the past several years — meaning that the agency is spending roughly $100,000 per year for every anti-Assad rebel who has gone through the program.

The move by the House intelligence panel to cut the program’s funds is not mentioned in the unclassified version of the spending bill. But statements released by lawmakers alluded to some of their underlying concerns, including a line calling for an “effort to enhance the metrics involved in a critically important [intelligence community] program.”

That language, officials said, was a veiled reference to members’ mounting frustration with the program and a perceived inability by the agency to show that its forces have gained territory, won battles or achieved other measurable results.
CIA  foreign_aid  Mar15  FSA  USTraining  congress  budget  Daraa 
august 2015 by elizrael
Hezbollah’s fading finances back in spotlight -- NOW, Mar 19,2015
The decision was later attributed by management to insufficient funding for a commercial expansion plan. It is for that reason that some former employees of the Arabic-language edition believe there may be a political twist to the story. Specifically, they charge that the Hezbollah-sympathetic paper (whose editor-in-chief hangs a portrait of slain Hezbollah militant Imad Mughniyeh in his office, and wrote in 2012: “[T]he resistance is everything to us […] Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah needs only to whisper in my ear, and I will stop the publication of Al-Akhbar without hesitation”) was the latest casualty of the wider financial crisis that has reportedly beleaguered Hezbollah in recent months as a result of economic woes faced by the Party’s chief patron, Iran.

Fidaa Itani, a former senior Al-Akhbar reporter (and now a NOW ), says the paper’s various funding sources have included the Qatari, Syrian, and Iranian governments, in addition to individuals “very close to Hezbollah.” The Qatari funding ended several years ago, while Syrian contributions have “lagged” of late, Itani told NOW.

“We can say that Al-Akhbar’s finances mirror Hezbollah’s budget, so in one way or another you can link the closure [of the English edition] to the financial cuts suffered by Hezbollah,” Itani concluded.
Those expenditures, at the same time, have ballooned in recent years as Iran has taken a frontline role in almost all of the Middle East’s major military conflicts. A diplomat cited in the above Christian Science Monitor report said Tehran’s support for the Bashar al-Assad regime in Damascus, for example, is costing it between $1bn and $2bn every month, adding rapidly to an Iranian budget deficit of some $9bn as of January. Small wonder, perhaps, that Iran’s leaders are now considering such exceptional measures as selling exemption from mandatory military service to their own citizens.
foreign_aid  media  Lebanon  Propaganda  Hizbollah  Iran  crime  drugs  budget 
march 2015 by elizrael
Is Hezbollah Going Broke? -- Newsweek, Jan 23,2015
Lower oil prices led Iran to slash aid to Hizbollah affecting combatants, their families and politicians who are bribed by Hizb
Hizbollah  Mar15  ForeignFighters  Iran  oil  foreign_aid  Lebanon  budget 
march 2015 by elizrael
עלות מתקן השהייה חולות: כמאה מיליון שקל בשנה - חינוך וחברה - הארץ
היקף ההוצאות של המדינה על החזקת מבקשי המקלט במתקן השהייה חולות בנגב נחשף בנתונים שהגיעו לידי התנועה לחופש המידע. לפי הנתונים, שהועברו ממשרד הביטחון ומשירות בתי הסוהר, עלויות הקמת מתקן חולות הסתכמו ב–323 מיליון שקלים בקירוב.
budget  HoldingFacility  refugees  anti-infiltrationLaw 
june 2014 by elizrael
Obama Administration Plans Decrease In Funding For Middle East Democracy Promotion - The Daily Beast, Jan 2, 2014
In the run-up to Christmas, State Department officials briefed American non-profits funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) about cuts in funding. They were told no money was being earmarked for democracy and governance assistance programs in Iraq and that, for Egypt, the administration was adopting a wait-and-see approach until after a January 15 referendum on a newly-drafted constitution.

No extra funding for democracy promotion is being earmarked for Libya, whose transition from autocracy following the toppling of Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi has been plagued by lawlessness. USAID democracy programs there were cut by about half last year, following the assault on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi that led to the deaths of ambassador Christopher Sevens and three other Americans.
obama_administration  democracy_promotion  budget 
january 2014 by elizrael
ynet מחיר החוק למניעת הסתננות: 440 מיליון שקל - חדשות
הצעת המחליטים שתובא לאישור הממשלה ביום ראשון חושפת את המחיר של בניית מתקן שהייה פתוח ביום וסגור בלילה שיקלוט כ-3,300 מבקשי מקלט ומסתננים. לשם כך יקוצצו כ-145 מיליון שקל ו-559 תקנים ממשרדי הממשלה. למשרד לביטחון פנים יתווספו 130 תקנים ו-73 מיליון שקל לשיטור בדרום ת"א
Israel  refugees  anti-infiltrationLaw  budget 
november 2013 by elizrael
המתנחלים עושים תספורת של 75% להלוואות שקיבלו מהמדינה
הסוג האחרון של ההלוואות הוא למתנחלים עצמם, והוא נועד למטרות בנייה ודיור. אלא שכפי שחושפת הערת קצרה בביאור 5(ב) בעמוד 47 בדו"ח הכספי של ממשלת ישראל לשנת 2012, חלק לא מבוטל מההלוואות האלה ניתנו שלא כדי לגבות אותן.

או כמו שכותבת החשבת הכללית בדו"ח הכספי, "עד שנת 2011 ניתנו הלוואות לבנייה. הלוואות אלה לא נרשמו בשנים קודמות, וטרם הוסדר אופן הרישום והניהול. כמו כן, טרם נקבעו תנאי החזר". הלוואות שניתנות ללא קביעת תנאי החזר הן דבר חריג עד כדי לא קיים בשוק, ועל כן עולה הסברה כי הלוואות אלה ניתנו מבלי כוונה לגבות אותן.
settlements  budget  Israel 
november 2013 by elizrael
הממשלה תקצה 8 מיליון שקל להטסת מסתננים שעוזבים מרצון - פוליטי - דה מרקר TheMarker
הממשלה מבקשת להקצות 8 מיליון שקל בהוצא עבור מימון מענקים והטסות של מסתננים העוזבים את ישראל מרצון. כך עולה מפנייה תקציבית שהגישה הממשלה לאישור ועדת הכספים. הוועדה תדון בהעברות התקציביות בישיבתה ביום ג'.
refoulment  deportation  VoluntaryReturn  refugees  Israel  budget 
october 2013 by elizrael
ומה מדינת ישראל עושה בשבילי? - פוליטי - דה מרקר TheMarker
המסקנה העצובה של בנק ישראל מהניתוח הזה הוא שהממשלה לא באמת שולטת. משמע, הממשלה לא באמת שולטת בהרכב התקציב, ולא באמת מסוגלת לבצע שינוי משמעותי של סדר העדיפויות בו, ולכן מרבית הציפיות של אזרחי ישראל כי הממשלה תדאג להם נועדו להתבדות. הכוח העיקרי שפועל במדינת ישראל הוא כוח האינרציה - מה שהיה הוא, בגדול, מה שיהיה.
Israel  budget  NetanyahuGovt  MoD 
august 2013 by elizrael
נתוני תקציב הביטחון חושפים את בלוף קיצוץ ימי המילואים - תעשייה ומקרו - דה מרקר TheMarker
חריגה של 4.6 מיליארד שקל מתקציב הביטחון ב-2012 - 8.2% יותר ממה שאישרה הכנסת ■ תקציב גמלאי צה"ל גדל ב-2012 ב-877 מיליון שקל - 21.5% ■ קיצוץ של 50% בימי המילואים יחסוך 400 מיליון שקל בלבד
Israel  budget  IDF 
june 2013 by elizrael
15 אי דיוקים בפוסט של לפיד - ואיך זה משפיע על החיים שלכם - חדשות - דה מרקר TheMarker
בדיקת TheMarker: פערים גדולים בין ההצהרות שפיזר שר האוצר, יאיר לפיד, בפוסט שהעלה לפייסבוק ונועד להציג את ההצלחות בתקציב - לבין המציאות של הגזירות במשק ■ חישובים לא נכונים, הכרזות על ועדה שטרם קמה ועל הורדות מחירים שאינן נראות באופק, ושום מלה על מחירי הדיור
lies  Yair_Lapid  budget  Israel  taxes 
may 2013 by elizrael
לפיד ויתר על הקיצוץ בתקציבי הישיבות שאינן מגישות לבגרות - חדשות - הארץ
משרד האוצר חזר בו מכוונתו לקצץ את תקציבי הישיבות החרדיות שאינן מלמדות את מקצועות הליבה, בהם מתמטיקה, אנגלית, מדעים ואזרחות, ואינן מגישות את תלמידיהן לבגרות. זאת לאחר שוויתר על הקיצוץ בתקציבי בתי הספר היסודיים של רשת מעיין החינוך התורני של ש"ס ובתקציבי רשת החינוך העצמאי של יהדות התורה.

לימוד מקצועות הליבה הם נקודה רגישה ביותר מבחינת מנהיגי הציבור החרדי, שהבטיחו להילחם בניסיונות לקצץ את תקציבי הישיבות. ועדת השרים לענייני חקיקה בממשלה הקודמת פסלה הצעת חוק שדרשה לחייב את הישיבות בלימוד מקצועות הליבה. כעת מתכננים ביש עתיד להגיש הצעת חוק חדשה שתאפשר לקצץ את תקציבי הישיבות שלא ילמדו את מקצועות הליבה.
ultra-Orthodox  Israel  budget  education 
may 2013 by elizrael
התקציב חשף: ישראל פתחה נציגות דיפלומטית חדשה במפרץ הפרסי - מדיני-ביטחוני - הארץ
“בין השנים 2010 ל-2012 הוקמו 11 נציגויות חדשות ברחבי העולם”, נכתב בעמוד 213 של המסמך שנמצא בעמוד הבית של אתר האינטרנט של משרד האוצר. “נציגות מפרץ, שגרירות אשחבד, קונסולית גוואנז’ו, שגרירות וולינגטון, קונסוליה סאו פאולו, קונסוליה מינכן, קונסוליה סנט פטרסבורג, שגרירות אקרה, שגרירות טיראנה, קונסוליה בנגלור, שגרירות לקאריבים ונציג לפסיפיק”.
Israel  Gulf_region  embassy  budget 
may 2013 by elizrael
מרבית הישראלים מעדיפים קיצוץ בתקציב ההתנחלויות - פוליטי - הארץ
63.7% מהישראלים דירגו את תקציב הבנייה בהתנחלויות כזה שיש לערוך בו את הקיצוץ הגדול ביותר, על מנת להתמודד עם הגירעון בתקציב המדינה – כך עולה מסקר שמפרסם הבוקר (שני) "פורום בוחרים תקציב חברתי". הסקר נערך על ידי מכון פאנלס בקרב 591 בגירים המהווים מדגם מייצג של האוכלוסיה.

מהממצאים עולה כי הנטייה לתמוך בקיצוץ תקציב ההתנחלויות אינה קשורה להשתייכות הפוליטית ולעמדה לגבי נסיגה מהשטחים: הציון הממוצע של מצביעי הימין לתמיכה בקיצוץ בתחום הוא 3.8 (מתוך סקאלה של 1 עד 5, לפיה 1 זו התמיכה הנמוכה ביותר ו-5 הגבוהה ביותר).

יחד עם הנסקרים שדרגו את הקיצוץ בתקציבי ההתנחלויות כנושא השני שיש לקצץ בו את מרבית הכסף, עומד אחוז הישראלים שמעוניינים בקיצוץ בהיקף רחב בנושא זה על 81.9%.
settlements  budget  Israel  polls  MoD 
april 2013 by elizrael
"הפנסיה שלנו באמת מוגזמת" | Calcalist, April 10, 2013
לראשונה זה זמן רב קצינים בכירים מדברים על מה שהגנרלים אומרים על תקציב הביטחון רק בחדרים סגורים. חומר למחשבה לשרי הממשלה רגע לפני ההחלטות על תקציב המדינה
budget  MoD  IDF  Israel 
april 2013 by elizrael
Egypt’s economy: Going to the dogs | The Economist
Nine months into office, President Muhammad Morsi has yet to devise an economic plan plausible enough to convince the IMF, whose proffered $4.8 billion standby agreement and stamp of approval could unlock as much as $15 billion in multilateral aid, mostly on generous terms, and slash borrowing costs overall.

Earlier this month Mr Morsi’s government also rejected suggestions that Egypt could dip into its own deposits at the fund for emergency financing. Fearful of imposing austerity ahead of a general election due later this year, it has instead borrowed at steep rates from local banks, beseeched friendly governments (mostly in the Gulf) for cash and fuel, and busied itself trying to push through legislation to allow for issuing “Islamic” bonds.
economy  Egypt  inflation  poverty  budget  foreign_aid  IMF 
april 2013 by elizrael
הפרוטוקולים של ועדת טרכנטברג נחשפים | חלק ג' – יוקר המחייה | תחשוב טעים, יהיה טעים.
2. פרק שני, ובו יסופר כיצד חברי ועדת טרכטברג חשבו להמליץ לצמצם את זכות השביתה במגזר הציבורי, עד שהמשנה ליועץ המשפטי לממשלה הוריד אותם מהעץ

3. פרק שלישי ובו יסופר כיצד הוועדה התלבטה האם לצאת נגד הלובי החקלאי

4. פרק רביעי ובו יסופר איך חברי הוועדה שמים לב שאין אף רגולטור שידאג לצרכן, אבל לא יודעים איך לפתור את הבעיה הזו
agriculture  Israel  J14  budget  PMO  NetanyahuGovt  labor_union  marketConcentration  tycoons 
february 2013 by elizrael
הפרוטוקולים של טרכטנברג נחשפים | חלק ב' – מיסוי | תחשוב טעים, יהיה טעים.
. פרק ראשון ובו יסופר כיצד טרכטנברג מגלה שראש הממשלה הסכים מבעוד מועד לעצירת הפחתת המסים ואפילו להעלאתם

2. פרק שני ובו יסופר כיצד טרכטנברג רצה שמס החברות יעלה מ-25% ל-27%, כיצד אבי שמחון אמר שזו סטירת לחי לפוליטיקאים, וטרכטנברג השיב שאחרת יהיה כאן אסון

3. פרק שלישי ובו יסופר מדוע הרעיון לצמצם את הטבות המס לחברות הגדולות קיבל תשובה אף פעם לא קיבל צ'אנס אמיתי בדיוני ועדת טרכטנברג

4. פרק רביעי ובו יסופר מדוע התנגדו חברי הוועדה להטלת מס ירושה/עיזבון, וכיצד לא החליטו מה הדרך הנכונה להילחם בשכר הבכירים המופרז

5. פרק חמישי ובו יסופר כיצד במקום להילחם עם ההסתדרות על הפטור ממס בקרנות ההשתלמות הציע יוג'ין קנדל רעיון מהפכני איך להשתמש בקרנות ההשתלמות להגדלת הנטו, על ידי מתן הלוואות
J14  budget  Israel  leak  economy  inequality  middle_class  poverty  PMO  NetanyahuGovt  taxes 
february 2013 by elizrael
הפרוטוקולים של טרכנטברג נחשפים | חלק א' – מדיניות תקציבית | תחשוב טעים, יהיה טעים.
גבאי: "בתקציב 2013, זה לא הממשלה הנוכחית שתחליט לגביו, זו תהיה הממשלה הבאה. לא יודע, שלי יחימוביץ תנצח סיבוב שני, ואז יהיה בכלל סיפור אחר. הממשלה הנוכחית, לא בשלהי ימיה תעביר תקציב לשנה נוספת. ולכן יכול להיות שתהיה החלטת מדיניות שאולי לא נאהב, אבל שלי יחימוביץ או עמיר פרץ ינצחו את מפלגת העבודה, יסחפו את כל המחאה, יחליטו מחר שבכלל מעלים את ההכנסות ואת ההוצאות, ויכול להיות שבמסווה של מחאה חברתית נקבל את יאיר לפיד ונקבל את הניאו ליברליזם של אבא שלו, ונקבל בכלל קפיטליזם יותר קיצוני ממה שיש היום".

5. פרק חמישי ובו יסופר כיצד תקציב הביטחון היה הפיל שבחדר לאורך כל דיוני הוועדה, כיצד בשלב מסוים צץ על השולחן מכתב סודי, וכיצד טרכטנברג התחיל להקטין את הציפיות שהממשלה באמת תקצץ בתקציב הביטחון
J14  budget  Israel  leak  economy  MoD  inequality  middle_class  poverty  PMO  NetanyahuGovt 
february 2013 by elizrael
באוצר שוקלים: מס זמני על האזרחים במחצית השנייה של 2013 - חדשות - דה מרקר TheMarker
במשרד נערכים לאפשרות של פריצת מסגרת התקציב ■ כדי לשמור על מסגרת התקציב ל-2014 ולהבטיח את השמירה על יעד הגירעון ל-2013 - יועלו מסים בגובה הקיצוץ שיידחה מ-2013
taxes  Israel  budget  NetanyahuGovt 
february 2013 by elizrael
נענע10 - בכירים באוצר מזהירים: מיד אחרי הבחירות - הגזירות הקשות מזה עשור - חדשות
אחרי שאתמול התגלה שהגרעון השנתי זינק ל-39 מיליארד שקלים, בכירים באוצר מזהירים כי לא יהיה מנוס מלצמצם אותו בעזרת הטלת מסים. הם גם מתחו ביקורת קשה על התנהלות הממשלה שהביאה לקופה הריקה: "נתניהו מעמיד פנים שאין בעיה כדי למנוע התחזקות של שלי יחימוביץ' לפני הבחירות"
economy  Israel  budget  2013IsraelElections 
january 2013 by elizrael
כלכליסט - בארץ - ניתוח "כלכליסט" - הדילמה של נתניהו: תקציב או בחירות
אלא שכל אחד מהשחקנים גם יודע שכל אחד מהאחרים עשוי להרוויח עוד כמה נקודות אלקטוראליות לו יאותת לחבריו שהוא מתכוון לאשר את התקציב הקשה, אבל ברגע האחרון יבגוד בברית הפוליטית ויצביע בכנסת נגד התקציב. נתניהו כבר איבד בעבר ראשות ממשלה בהצבעת אי־אמון, הוא לא ייתן לזה לקרות לו שוב. אם ורק אם הוא יהיה בטוח במאה ועשרים אחוזים שכל חברי הקואליציה יצביעו בעד התקציב בשלוש קריאות בכנסת בלי שום סיכוי לסכין בגב, רק במצב כזה הוא יהמר על אישור התקציב במועדו. אחרת, כל נימה של סיבה לחשדנות תגרום לו לסגת מההימור, ולגרור את כל השחקנים כולל את עצמו לתוצאה טובה פחות - בחירות עכשיו, כשתקציב הגזירות הוא הנושא המרכזי שלהן. זו הדילמה שניצבת בפני נתניהו - להמר על התקציב או לא.
budget  Israel  NetanyahuGovt 
october 2012 by elizrael
גם אנרכיסטים יודעים לקרוא נתונים כלכליים: גירעון ממשלתי « גוליית
ב-2009, השנה הראשונה לכהונתו של נתניהו, זינק הגירעון הממשלתי השנתי ל-33.9 מיליארד שקל – 5.2% מהתוצר הלאומי הגולמי (תמ"ג) – לעומת גירעון של 2.1% מהתמ"ג שנה קודם לכן. שנה לאחר מכן הסתכם הגירעון ב-26.2 מיליארד שקל, או 3.7% מהתמ"ג. ב-2011 הסתכם הגירעון הממשלתי ב-24.4 מיליארד שקל, וב-2012 הוא צפוי להסתכם ב-32.4 מיליארד שקל.

כדי שיהיה ברור – לא מדובר בנתונים מצטברים, אלא בגירעון בשנה אחת בלבד. כלומר, בכל שנה ושנה הוציאה ממשלת נתניהו הרבה יותר ממה שהיא היתה אמורה להוציא. בשנת 2011, למשל, נקבע יעד הגירעון על 3% מהתמ"ג. בפועל הגיע הגירעון ל-3.3%. בשנת 2012 נקבע יעד גירעון של 2% מהתמ"ג, בפועל הגירעון צפוי להסתכם ב-4% מהתמ"ג – פי שניים מהיעד.

הזינוק בגירעון נובע בין היתר מההאטה במשק הישראלי, שבניגוד לטענות של נתניהו כבר נפגע מהמשבר העולמי. האטה זו הביאה לירידה בגביית המסים, שהיתה נמוכה מהיעד בשנים אלה. הצד השני של הגירעון הוא הבזבוזים של ממשלת נתניהו. לא משנה כמה ינסו להסתיר זאת, בסופו של דבר הכיבוש עולה הרבה כסף – בביטחון, בהשקעה במבנים ותשתיות, בתמיכות כאלה ואחרות… תוסיפו לזה את הטבות המס לחברות הענק כמו אינטל וטבע, ששטייניץ ויתר להן על מסים בעשרות מיליארדי שקלים, ואת הצורך לתחזק את הממשלה המנופחת לרצות את השותפות הקואליציונית… בקיצור, אתם מתחילים להבין.
Israel  budget  NetanyahuGovt 
august 2012 by elizrael
"השקענו בעצירת מסתננים, אנחנו מכבים את השריפות - זה עולה כסף" - גלובס
"ניהול הכלכלה הלאומית זה כמו ניהול משק בית. אתה חייב לאזן בין הוצאות להכנסות", כך אמר היום (ד') נתניהו בדיון כלכלי לקראת ישיבת הממשלה הקרובה. בדיון נכחו שר האוצר ד"ר יובל שטייניץ, מנכ"ל משרד רה"מ הראל לוקר, מנכ"ל האוצר דורון כהן, ר' המועצה הלאומית לכלכלה פרופ' יוג'ין קנדל וראש אגף התקציבים גל הרשקוביץ. "בחרנו להשקיע בשנה האחרונה בעצירת המסתננים, הצלחנו לעצור את הגל ששטף את המדינה. החלטנו להשקיע בכבאות, במידה רבה הצלחנו, אנחנו מכבים את כל השריפות. אנחנו מטפלים באתגרים ביטחוניים לאור המציאות המשתנה. כל זה עולה כסף".
incitement  budget  taxes  Netanyahu  Israel  refugees 
july 2012 by elizrael
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