Only the wealthy won’t feel Binyamin Netanyahu and Yair Lapid’s latest budget cut, which reduces “child allowances” to a pitiful joke.
Where just a few years ago families received as much as NIS 400 per child, the payments for children will fall to NIS 140 (less than $40) per child per month… Arutz 7
Contrary to Lapid’s rantings, it’s not the lazy unemployed sector that will feel it the most. Those families with almost no income get various welfare subsidies; it’s the working poor, who even with the previous child allowances barely finished the month.
I have no idea how Lapid has come up with his so-called facts:
“We will help needy families and set aside hundreds of millions [of shekels] to make sure no children go hungry, but [the cuts] are a historic move from a culture of allotments to a culture of work.”
Beginning on August 20, parents will receive only 140 shekels per month for each child born after June 1, 2003.
According to Lapid, National Insurance Institute (NII) child allotments perpetuated poverty instead of stopping it. “There is only one thing that allows families to get out of the cycle of poverty – work. The poverty rate in families with two working parents is under 5 percent.” Indy News of Israel
Apparently, Yair Lapid is just as anti-religious and anti-chareidi as his father was. He just packages himself differently.
For Haredi families, this severe cut in income comes coupled with a severe curtailing of funding for yeshivas and kolelim—by 30 percent this coming year, and by 60 percent the following year. Jewish Press
Lapid’s timing is extra cruel considering the season. Summer is extremely, unbearably expensive for families with children, no matter what their income. Children on vacation from school need to be minded, cared for which is expensive. Summer camp, vacations, babysitters, bathing suits, crafts etc. are difficult for many parents to pay for. You see many parents taking their children to work, because there’s no alternative especially when they are working at low wages. Sometimes it costs more to go to work than to stay home. By reducing child allowances it can become completely financially impossible for both parents to work.
Even before these new child allowance cuts, parents were finding it difficult to pay for school supplies, books and the expenses for the upcoming Jewish Holidays.
Israel doesn’t have much of a parliamentary opposition, but I hope this latest government move galvanizes them to action.
“It injures where it’s supposed to heal. Once again, [Finance Minister Yair] Lapid is taking advantage of and encouraging a mistaken and inciting idea that haredim and Arabs are the only ones who are harmed by budget cuts. First of all, a child is a child is a child.”
According to Yacimovich, the average family will lose NIS 2,000 per year because of the allotment cuts.
The Labor issue took with a statistic Lapid cited – that only five percent of families where both parents work are poor – and said that 65 percent of poor families are working families. She added that there are 870,000 poor children in Israel, more than any other Western country.
“This is an economic and national mistake, evil for its own sake, and a total detachment from people’s regular lives,” Yacimovich wrote. Jerusalem Post
But my big question concerns to silence from Lapid’s buddy, Naftali Bennett. A large portion of Bennett’s NRP-aka Bayit Yehudi voters will be losing thousands of shekels a year in this government decision. Ignored by Lapid, Netanyahu and Bennett, who is also in the government coalition, is the fact that many, many families that will be losing thousands of shekels a year are from the dati Le’umi, national religious portion of the population. They voted on the whole for NRP and Likud. There’s a good chance they won’t be able to afford to make that mistake again.
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About the Author: Batya Medad blogs at Shiloh Musings.The author's opinion does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Jewish Press.
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