The Finance Ministry has rescinded the 8 percent cut in
Guaranteed Income ("Havtachat Hachnasa"), restoring
the monthly payment to NIS 942 (approximately $220) following
efforts by MK Rabbi Moshe Gafni.
Several months ago the government decided on a broad budget
cut for government ministries. The first cut was made in
funding for kollel men by reducing their Guaranteed
Income by 8 percent although other Guaranteed Income
recipients did not have their monthly payments reduced.
Rabbi Gafni then contacted Government Secretary Yisrael
Maimon and ranking figures in the Finance Ministry's Budget
Department, demanding they cancel the discriminatory cut.
During the negotiations it was decided to cut ministry
budgets by another 3 percent but this time the cut had no
effect on Guaranteed Income for kollel men.
This week the Government Secretary and Finance Ministry's
Budget Commissioner told Rabbi Gafni a decision had been
reached to retract the 8 percent cut and the Education
Ministry sent him official notice the original sum of NIS 942
would be restored and due to Pesach the transfer would be
advanced to this week.
Degel HaTorah has been irate at Education Ministry heads for
delaying the regular funding payments to kollelim and
yeshivas although the ministry officials have been ready to
pay the money for over a week and the discussions of the
fixed tariffs will be held immediately after Pesach. "There
is no public or moral justification for the delay of the
regular funding on the eve of Pesach to the kollelim
and yeshivas, which are already in a major funding crunch,"
said a Degel HaTorah spokesman. Degel HaTorah MKs have been
hard at work trying to release the funding before Pesach.