College Students Budget 23 Times More Than Avreichim
by Yated Ne'eman Staff
"The chareidi community is human, they are also members of our own people. I think that we have to relate to them as such, and not to make rash statements and say things that are inappropriate. Everyone knows that the arrangement with the avreichim has been going on for 30 years."
These were the remarks of Prime Minister Netanyahu on Wednesday in the Knesset plenum in answering the sharp criticism voiced by the opposition to the bill restoring the income support to avreichim. The bill is intended only to give legislative backing to an arrangement that was in place for three decades and does not add any new funds. Nonetheless, the issue has become a cause celebre for the opposition the tone of whose comments can be inferred from the reply of the prime minister.
College students will receive a 1.3 billion ($360 million) funding increase, in addition to NIS 1.5 billion for stipends, benefits and grants to lighten the tuition, according to a survey conducted by the Prime Minister's Office, which has rejected the students' claim of discrimination and providing payments for avreichim.
In contrast, the cost of Guaranteed Income for avreichim, in place for many years, comes to just NIS 120 million — the exact same amount approved by the previous government and routinely approved for the past 30 years.