The Knesset Finance Committee has authorized extra assistance for avereichim and university students of an additional NIS 1,040 per month above the government assistance they already receive. The law approved for its second and third Knesset reading provides for equal conditions for the provision of assistance to avreichim to the conditions enjoyed by needy college students. The law, authored by MK Rabbi Moshe Gafni, was approved unanimously by the committee members.
According to the law, avreichim who have at least three children and do not own an automobile worth more than NIS 25,000, and who do not own a second home or land worth more than NIS 36,000, are eligible for the additional assistance. The assistance is limited to families in which spouses do not earn more than NIS 1,200 a month, and do not receive National Insurance Institute payments of over NIS 1,200, excluding child credit payments.
In a previous attempt to legislate assistance for avreichim, the High Court said that the assistance given to one group but not distributed equally to others – in this case, university students – was discriminatory. In this version, said MK Rabbi Gafni, the law requires that 21 percent of assistance provided go to university students with at least one child. Such recipients would be able to receive as much as NIS 4,000 per month in government assistance. “If the assistance to avreichim increases, so will assistance to students,” he said. “I am happy to have been instrumental in equalizing the conditions for students, who otherwise would not have received a shekel in assistance.”