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Agudah Torah Council Approves Child Allowance Savings Plan

litzmanThe Moetzas Gedolei Hatorah of Agudas Yisrael on Tuesday evening 12 Menachem Av accepted the plan presented by Deputy Minister Yaakov Litzman. It now appears the Agudas Yisrael faction of Yahadut Hatorah will support the state budget when presented next week.

Litzman on Tuesday visited the Belzer Rebbe Shlita in his home, explaining to the rebbe the details of the plan that is backed by the treasury. Under the new formula, of the NIS 170 monthly child allowance per child, NIS 50 will not be deposited in the bank account of parents as has been the case, but that sum will be placed in an account that can be redeemed by the child at the age of 18 with restrictions, or at the age of 21 without restrictions.

Litzman explained to the admorim that there were no cuts in any of the funding for yeshivos and mosdos promised in the coalition agreement, signaling this is quite an accomplishment considering the treasury wishes to make significant cuts in this area as well.

The admorim have accepted the new formula backed by Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, removing a significant budget stumbling block for the prime minister. It remains to be determined how the Degel Hatorah faction of Yahadut Hatorah will deal with this new component of the child allowance payments.

Yated Neeman reports Degel leader MK Moshe Gafne has objections to the plan. Including fears of what will actually occur when a child reaches the age and wishes to cash the account. Minister Kahlon in his effort to persuade Gafne to come on board explains the new arrangement can become a part of the nation’s Bituach Leumi law, thereby guaranteeing the money must be allocated as intended, without the restrictions in place at present if the child wishes to cash in at age 18. At present it appears Degel is unwilling to agree to any cuts in what has been promised in coalition agreements, without exception.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

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