The powers of local government will be decentralized and excess regulation will be reduced

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The government today (Sunday) approved the proposal of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked to decentralize powers from the government to local authorities and directive to establish a special inter-ministerial team and internal staff in the Interior Ministry that will formulate recommendations that will dramatically affect central government relations with local authorities.

The State of Israel is one of the most centralized countries among the OECD countries. The State of Israel has only two levels of government – central and local, with no regional level in the middle, and as a result over the years the government has held most of the powers that affect the activities of local government. In the 2018 OECD publication, Israel is associated with the group of countries with the lowest levels of decentralization, both in terms of expenditure and tax revenue.
High centralization of the central government leads to the non-realization of the potential of local economic growth, to a possible damage to democracy in the local government and to the difficulty of promoting a place-based policy.

In light of the importance of strengthening local authorities and improving the service they provide to residents, it was decided to concentrate government efforts on decentralization, out of a desire to produce a meaningful professional process with results in the near term, and joint government dialogue with local government in one language and uniform and clear parameters.

Teams headed by Prime Minister Yair Pines and Interior Ministry Director Yair Hirsch will formulate and submit operational recommendations regarding the powers to be transferred from government ministries to local authorities. : Homeland Security, Environmental Protection, Housing and Construction, Energy, Education, Economy and Industry, Justice, Welfare, Social Equality, Social Security, Religious Services, Transportation and Road Safety, and Culture and Sports. In light of the broad budgetary and legislative implications expected from the work of the team, the Ministry of Finance and the Attorney General are also partners in the move, which will take an active part in it.

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The Minister of the Interior, Ayelet Shaked, said: “This is an important and significant day for the Ministry of the Interior and the local authorities. The government’s decision to carry out the revolution in local government relations with the central government and it is certain that this move will lead to the strengthening of local authorities. “

Interior Ministry Director General Yair Hirsch said: “The first and main task assigned to me, as the ministry’s director general, by Minister Shaked is to ‘let the local authorities work’, it excites me to know that the move is finally underway.
Decentralization of powers means – any area in which the Ministry of the Interior has no relative advantage or substantial necessity, the Ministry of the Interior will not engage in it. “

The Director General of the Prime Minister’s Office, Yair Pines, stated: “It was precisely during the Corona period that we felt the capabilities and power of local government more than ever. The decision is expected to streamline government and local government Better for residents who are adapted and accurate to the needs of the area. “

Photo: Knesset Spokeswoman – Noam Moskowitz


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