The Israeli cabinet, meeting Tuesday, is set to okay the disputed 2006 state budget, Israeli media sources reported.

The ratification of the budget comes two days after the Benjamin Netanyahu announced his departure from the Finance Ministry and the government.

The sources said Labor ministers were expected to vote against the budget as they protested the scope of the intended cuts, a sum that reaches NIS 3.6 billions.

Agriculture Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud) was also expected to oppose the budget, due to the harm it will cause to his office. Some other Likud ministers may also vote against it.

They wish to change the government’s priorities and increase the deficit.  Besides, they suggest broadening the expenses listed in the budget.

Interior Minister Ophir Pines-Paz (Labor) called on Deputy Prime Minister Ehud Olmert Monday to add more emphasis on social change into the budget plans.

Olmert was appointed interim Finance Minister by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.  Olmert’s appointment was approved during this cabinet meeting.

He insisted to approve the budget no matter who formulated it, saying it is important to show stability.

‘The budget was formulated by a different finance minister, but it is nevertheless important to approve it. It is vital to show stability,’ Olmert said.