Lod City Hall has turned to the High Court of Justice in the hope of being released of its obligation for increased city funding for city religious services.
A ministerial committee made up of representatives of the Ministry of Religious Affairs, Ministry of the Interior and Ministry of Finance decided to increase the city’s religious services budget, which carried an increased participation of Lod City Hall for religious services in the municipality.
The attorneys representing the city maintain the ministerial committee approved the new religious services budget without authorization to do so in violation of the law. As a result of that decision, Lod City Hall was compelled to spend 2.3 million NIS on religious services in 2011 as compared to 1.8 million NIS in 2010, a 31% increase.
City officials explain their petition to the High Court is not against religious services, but they are responsible to use funds intended for infrastructure for just that, not religious services but the increase forced upon the city has resulted in less money for the municipality’s crumbling infrastructure.
City officials add that making things worse if the fact that the city’s religious council lives in a deficit and regularly seeks additional funding without making the slightest effort to streamline operations or implement a financial recovery plan.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)