The Knesset Finance Committee approved budget transfers
totaling NIS 1.7 billion ($390 million) Monday, including NIS
625 million ($140 million) promised to Shinui in payment for
its support of the state budget.
Seven MKs voted in favor of the budget transfers, five voted
against and two abstained. Before the vote harsh words were
exchanged between Shinui representatives and other members of
the committee protesting the party's extortion of money from
The enormous sums handed out to Shinui have been earmarked as
follows: NIS 153 million for student discounts, NIS 130
million for universities, NIS 40 million for "science," NIS
30 million for discharged soldiers, NIS 23 million for
immigrants, NIS 22 million for the war against the carnage on
the roads, NIS 40 million for Jewish pluralism, NIS 75
million for tax breaks for the middle class, and more.
An additional NIS 116 million was given to the Ministry of
Tourism, NIS 32 million to the Ministry of Agriculture, NIS
74 million to the Ministry of Health to increase the
medication basket, NIS 92 million to the Ministry of Housing,
NIS 410 million to the Ministry of Trade, Commerce and
Industry for research and development, and funding for the
Ministry of Education and for higher education.
Shinui left the government because Sharon agreed to restore
NIS 290 million that had been cut from chareidi institutions,
less than half the amount that Shinui got as a payoff for
supporting the budget.