Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

28 Nissan 5763 - April 30, 2003 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Bank of Israel Reports Major Erosion in Child Support Payments
by E. Rauchberger

Unemployment benefits and child support payments are continuing to erode in real value this year according to a statistical analysis of Bituach Leumi figures performed by the Bank of Israel's research department. In January child support payments declined in real value by 22.3 percent compared to January of last year, while unemployment benefits declined in real value by 40.2 percent. This follows a 16 percent erosion in child support payments in 2002, stemming from twice freezing cost-of-living increases that would have been due as well as two cuts in child support payments carried out by the Finance Ministry during the last year.

These alarming figures come in addition to another sharp cut in child support payments slated as part of the current economic plan.

Meanwhile other Bituach Leumi allowances across the board will be frozen at their current levels. If these changes are approved by the Knesset, this year will bring another sharp erosion in the real value of child support payments.

The High Court is also considering an appeal against a Finance Ministry proposal to carry out a scaled cut in child support payments that would discriminate against households in which the head of the family did not serve in the IDF. The hold-up in court has already prevented the Finance Ministry from executing the plan for six months. If the High Court eventually rules in favor of the Finance Ministry the average cut in child support payments will increase by another 7 percent.

According to Bank of Israel analysts the erosion in unemployment benefits posted in January comes on the heels of a 4.5 percent decline in real value posted last year. The total of NIS 3.7 billion ($810 million) Bituach Leumi paid in annual allowances dropped in real value by 9.6 percent in January of this year compared to a 2.5 percent drop in January of last year.

The bureau for socioeconomic justice set up by the Labor Party has decided to continue protesting against Finance Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's economic plan for several more days. On Friday a protest vigil was held outside the homes of Netanyahu and Yosef Lapid and a demonstration was held outside the Knesset during the meetings and voting on the economic plan to be held during a Knesset plenary session. Bureau chairman MK Ofir Pines called on Minister Lapid "to break the silence and erect a bridge between the middle classes and the Finance Ministry."


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