Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

5 Av 5765 - August 10, 2005 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










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Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











2006 Budget Contains Further Reductions in Children's Allowances

By G. Lazer

The chareidi public is furious over the Finance Ministry's plan to deepen the erosion of Children's Allowances. Recently essential components of the 2006 budget and details of the new decrees to be imposed on the public as part of efforts to cut government spending were provided.

One of the most prominent decrees is a further cut in Children's Allowances after two years of reductions under the new economic program. Over the next four years children's Allowances will not be tied to the Consumer Price Index, meaning they will remain frozen at their already low levels. This measure, which would save the Treasury NIS 550 million annually, is a harsh blow to large families.

In the 2003 fiscal year the government decided to gradually level the allowance paid for each child, eventually bringing the children's allowance down to NIS 144 per child regardless of the size of the family.

The linkage arrangement set in the National Insurance Law was changed. As of January 2006 the benefits will be updated according to the rate of increase in the CPI. Yet now, in order to reduce public spending on Children's Allowances the Finance Ministry has proposed the government extend the temporary directive regarding Children's Allowances until December 31, 2009 and determine that from the beginning of 2006 until the end of 2009 Children's Allowances will not be updated according to the rate of increase in the CPI.

In addition on January 1, 2006 the scheduled increase in Children's Allowances from NIS 120 to NIS 144 will not take place.

In reaction Deputy Welfare Minister Rabbi Avrohom Ravitz said the weaker strata continue to pay the price of the Finance Ministry's failed economic program.

MK Rabbi Moshe Gafni sent a vituperative letter to Netanyahu reading: "I was surprised to hear about your plans for the 2006 budget, including continued harm to the weak strata, the cutting the allowance for the first and second child and making this cut permanent and not updating Children's Allowances for the next four years—i.e. a further cut in the cut already scheduled to take effect during these years.

"I cannot understand where you derive the effrontery and chutzpah to strike another blow at children beyond those thousands you have brought below the poverty line. [It seems] you will not rest until you succeed in harming children and families more and more, with the exception of the economically established [segments of society], which you nurture and make rich.

"Yet I lack the powers of insight to comprehend [your intentions], for beyond the ingratitude toward these families who supported you throughout the years, all of these decisions are not in your hands to decide but must pass the legislative process in the Knesset and the Finance Committee and I cannot see any possibility or the slightest chance of you being able to pass this wicked plan in the Finance Committee and in the Knesset plenum."


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