Liberman Planning Tough Budget Cuts for Chareidim

YERUSHALAYIM

Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman speaks during a faction meeting at the Knesset. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Even as the coalition falters, Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman is considering new budget cuts targeting the chareidi community.

According to a report by Channel 12, Liberman is planning a series of measures if the government fails to pass the 2023 state budget before new elections are called.

The channel reports that Liberman is seeking to promote three new measures: cutting the budget for Talmudei Torah by one-third, funding the chareidi private school system (Chinuch Atzmai etc.) at 75% percent instead of 100%, and allocating benefits such as childcare subsidies, rental assistance and land tax reductions only to those who earn a certain level of income, which would exclude those who learn Torah full-time.

Initially, Lieberman had proposed a plan whereby, starting in 2023, childcare subsidies would only be granted if parents work at least 24 hours a week. This would have ended childcare subsidies for some 21,000 children, many of whom come from chareidi families in which the father learns in kollel.

The Religious Zionism Party reacted to Channel 12’s revelations, calling Liberman’s alleged goals “racist.”

“Liberman’s racist decrees will not pass, because this government will not survive to pass them,” the party said.

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