The Knesset Finance Committee approved an additional NIS 32
million ($7 million) in Education Ministry funding for
yeshivas and kollelim.
The committee also approved an NIS 9 million ($2 million)
increase in the Chinuch Atzmai budget, including NIS 1
million ($230,000) for busing.
Following concerted efforts by MK Rabbi Moshe Gafni and his
request to the Finance Ministry, the latter decided to
reverse plans to cut NIS 8 million in Guaranteed Income
(Havtachat Hachnasah) for avreichim (NIS 50 per
Finance Ministry officials claimed the move was part of a 5
percent budget cut at all government ministries stated in the
national budget for 2006. Yet no cut was made in Guaranteed
Income benefits for other recipients.
Chareidi committee members lodged protests against the
Finance Ministry's decision to cut just Guaranteed Income
funding for avreichim and Rabbi Gafni noted that the
cut even exceeded 5 percent. He also lodged harsh criticism
against MK Amnon Cohen (Shas) and his party which, as
coalition members, lent a hand to the blow to
avreichim, not stepping in to prevent this scandal.
The Finance Committee also approved a Finance Ministry cut of
NIS 8.5 million ($2 million) in funding for the religious
councils. Rabbi Gafni protested this decision as well, saying
the religious councils are already under severe financial
strain and again criticizing MK Cohen and his party's consent
to carry out this budget cut.