“The cutbacks on child allowances are a hate crime.” This serious accusation was issued by Dr. Yitzhak Kadman, executive director of the Council for the Child, in response to reports that Finance Minister Yair Lapid plans to lop some four billion shekels off that budget line.
Dr. Kadman is a champion of children’s rights in all areas of society. He expressed his shock at the approach of the finance minister, who, before even taking the time to study the budget carefully, recommended a deep cut that has been proven through past research to put more children under the poverty line.
“It is difficult to escape the impression that the speed of the recommendation to make child allowances a high-priority target is motivated by hatred for chareidim and Arabs, who are somehow thought to be the main beneficiaries of these allocations,” Kadman said.
The Association for Citizens’ Rights (ACR) has appealed to Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Finance Minister Yair Lapid and Welfare Minister Meir Cohen to hold the cuts in abeyance until a comprehensive review can be made of the actual needs of recipients.
A letter sent to them by the ACR warned that if the massive cuts are implemented, it could send 40,000 to 50,000 children below the poverty line. That would add to the 860,000 children already living in poverty in Israel. The consequences for their health, education and ability to escape from a cycle of poverty would constitute a betrayal of the state of Israel’s commitment to enable every child to live in dignity, with the means to develop his potential.