Nothing, not even the fact that the coalition lacks a majority and can topple any day, can deter Finance Minister Avigdor Lieberman from continuing his anti-religious decrees, this time as part of the 2023 state budget and Arrangements Law.
Following the uncovering of his plan to abolish religious councils, it was revealed on Wednesday evening that Lieberman included a series of clauses in the budget that will cause severe harm to the Olam HaTorah and large families.
The first clause is a fatal blow to the budget for yeshivos, slashing it by one-third – from NIS 1.2 billion to NIS 800 million, almost half a billion shekels.
The second clause is a reduction in the budget of Chareidi educational networks from 100% to 75%.
The third clause applies the same regulations as the daycare decree, which has been delayed for now, to afternoon school programs – ensuring that kollel families will no longer be able to receive subsidies. The same regulations will apply to rental assistance and property tax discounts.
According to the report, these clauses were discussed in the Finance Ministry, and senior officials were adamantly opposed to them, but as usual, Lieberman listens to no one but himself.
However, now that these clauses have been revealed, it is unlikely that Yamina MK Nir Orbach, who threatened Prime Minister Bennett to leave the coalition if the daycare decree wasn’t revoked, would agree to move forward with the budget in its present form.
Some say that since the budget has very little chance of being passed in the Knesset, Lieberman is simply ramping up his anti-Chareidi rhetoric in preparation for the next election.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)