Israel: Finance Minister Plans Budget Cuts for Ultra-Orthodox
As Israel’s ruling coalition falters, Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman is reportedly considering further budget cuts targeting the ultra-Orthodox community.
According to Channel 12Lieberman — a longtime foe of ultra-Orthodox parties who has expressed a desire to bring about change in the community — is planning a series of measures if the government fails to pass the 2023 state budget before the onset of new elections.
The channel reports that Lieberman is seeking to promote three new measures: cut the budget for yeshiva (Talmudic school) studies by a third – from $360 million to $240 million – fund the ultra-Orthodox private school system to 75% instead of 100%. , and allocating benefits such as childcare subsidies, housing assistance and property tax reductions only to those earning a certain level of income, which would exclude those studying poverty. Full-time Torah.
Initially, Lieberman proposed a plan that, starting in 2023, childcare subsidies would only be granted if parents worked at least 24 hours a week. This would have ended childcare subsidies for some 21,000 children, many of whom come from ultra-Orthodox families in which the father is a yeshiva student.
The religious Zionism opposition party reacted to Channel 12calling Lieberman’s alleged goals “racist.”
“Lieberman’s racist edicts will not pass because this government will not survive to pass them,” the far-right group said.