Chareidi lawmakers are trying for a third time to push through a new assistance plan aimed at bringing a monthly stipend to almost 10,000 avreichim, the poorest of the avreichim in the country.
Deputy Finance Minister Yitzchak Cohen of Shas explains that while this is a part of the coalition agreements, it must meet the challenge of a High Court challenge since the first two efforts were knocked down by the High Court after opponents petitioned against it. Speaking to Mordechai Lavi of Kol Chai radio, Cohen explains this time around explains Cohen, numerous legal experts have been involved in the wording of what is officially being called Keren Lomdei Torah, adding as a ‘keren’ (fund), it will be increasingly difficult for opponents to knock it down in court.
Recipients will receive NIS 14,000 annually in 12 monthly payments. This is intended for avreichim whose wives do not earn more than NIS 1,200 monthly. That means she doesn’t work and earns next to nothing.
A couple applying must have three or more children and may own a single apartment but not more; may not own a car or have regular use of another’s car; and may not earn more than NIS 1,200 monthly excluding other government assistance given to them from other agencies including the Ministry of Education and Bituach Leumi.
Please permit me to clarify. This simply does not make sense. How is a couple with three children, young as they may be, living on a total of NIS 1,200 a month? That is not enough for rent or mortgage, yet alone utilities and basic food. How can anyone be living on such a sum?
The avreich gets paid from kollel and they get stipends from the Education Ministry, Bituach Leumi and possibly other agencies. This is the way it is.
It is difficult to believe that a family of five is living on a few thousand shekels a month. This is not enough to even cover rent. After all the Education Ministry is about NIS 800 a month. It does not make sense.
This is the way it is. I am explaining it and yes, there are close to 10,000 avreichim living under such difficult conditions and we are trying to assist them with another NIS 1,000 plus a month for they are sinking economically.
The budget for the plan is NIS 100 million annually.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)