After vehement opposition to funding yeshiva students from Kadima and Labor, Netanyahu postpones vote on bill and tasks revision committee to devise ways which would allow for funding, offer incentives to encourage integration of haredim in workforce.
PM orders committee to study yeshiva students' funding
Netanyahu tasks revision committee to devise ways which would allow for funding, offer incentives to encourage haredim's integration in workforce
Roni Sofer • Ynet
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered a special committee be formed to study the issue of funding of yeshiva students.
The decision followed a stormy Sunday government meeting on the matter. The Ministerial Committee on Legislation subsequently announced it will postpone its vote on the bill by three weeks.
A Prime Minister's Office statement said that the committee will be headed by PMO Director-General Eyal Gabai and will include representatives from the Treasury, Justice and Education ministries, the National Economics Board, National Insurance Institute, the Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry and the Attorney General's Office.
The prime minister instructed the committee to devise ways which will allow yeshiva students to become a part of the Israeli workforce, as well as enable government funding.
Kadima slammed the government's inclination to approve the bill, which would make NIS 120 million (approx. $33 million) available for yeshiva students' funding: "We want to will make it clear to Netanyahu – wherever he attempts to assure his (political) survival in violation of the High Court and at the expense of students and ex-servicemen, he will find a vast public that will fight him," MK Yohanan Plesner said.
A Likud statement rebuffed, "There are no limits to Kadima's hypocrisy. The Kadima government itself approved yeshiva students' funding, as did all governments in the past 30 years. The Kadima government even increased the haredi public's resources.
"(…) as finance minister, Netanyahu was the only one who dared cut this funding, in order to encourage haredim to integrate in the workforce. Now, when the government is trying to improve a 30-year-old arrangement, Kadima decides to oppose something they themselves have approved. This is nothing but a transparent attempt to deceive the public."
Earlier, Interior Minister Eli Yishai said he would agree to a compromise which would allow unemployed university student – providing they have three children or more – to be allegeable to the same benefits as yeshiva students.
Labor also slammed the decision to form a revision committee. Minister of Minority Affairs Avishay Braverman said that "any attempt to circumvent the High Court is utterly unacceptable. Labor will not support this bill or any amendment to it."