The budget funds transferred to yeshivas at the beginning of
the week included NIS 720 ($170) per avreich —
like last year — only because the yeshiva budget for
2007 rose following a budget increase through the agreement
between UTJ and the Finance Ministry and also additional
funding from the coalition agreement with Shas.
The yeshiva budget for 2007 was reduced by 13 percent from
NIS 698 million ($165 million) to NIS 657 million ($155
million). The new base budget is NIS 277 million in addition
to NIS 260 million for UTJ and NIS 120 million for Shas.
The cut in the base budget was made in spite of opposition by
UTJ representatives. MK Rabbi Moshe Gafni said that despite
the NIS 41 million cut, Finance Ministry Budget Commissioner
Kobi Haber promised him that another NIS 20 million in
general reserve funding would be added during the course of
the year. "To this year's budget we've added more money than
the amount that was in the base budget," said Rabbi Gafni.
"This is very serious and must stop. I asked the Director-
General at the Finance Ministry to sign a multiyear agreement
to stop the government's abuse toward the yeshiva budget."
This week those eligible for Guaranteed Income received the
monthly payment in full after a decree to cut it by 3.5
percent was cancelled. The cut was annulled following
agreements between Rabbi Gafni and Finance Ministry officials
not to cut Guaranteed Income unless the Income Supplement
program is cut by an equal percent.
In other news regarding Guaranteed Income, the Education
Ministry's Guaranteed Income Department decided that eligible
recipients would not have to wait an entire year for their
file to take effect, but can now receive monthly payments as
soon as their eligibility is approved.