MK Ruhama Avraham (Kadima) 311.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Kadima MKs slammed Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu Monday over a report he
will nix key Trajtenberg Report recommendations on education, and they called
for the Knesset finance and economic committees to convene urgently on the
Business daily The Marker reported Sunday that Netanyahu is
planning to abandon multi-billion shekel cuts to the defense budget. Citing
Finance Ministry officials, the report said the move would put at risk two
recommendations made by Trajtenberg – free education for children aged 3-4, and
the nationwide deployment of after-hours educational care for children aged
Officials in the Prime Minister’s Office say Netanyahu has discussed
the matter several times in recent weeks with Treasury and Defense officials and
with Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer, but that he still has not made a
“Over time we have seen that members of the Finance Committee
were correct, and that the government only established the Trajtenberg Committee
to buy time,” Kadima MK Ruhama Avraham-Balila said.
Chairman Moshe Gafni (UTJ) agreed to Avraham-Balila’s request to hold a
discussion on the matter, and said the report proved the Trajtenberg Committee’s
establishment was “unnecessary,” as it dealt with the same issues that had
already been dealt with by the Finance Committee.
Kadima MK Yoel Hasson
said this was proof that Prof. Manuel Trajtenberg – who headed the
committee on socioeconomic change – was “no more than a tool for Netanyahu,” and
said he would take the matter to the Knesset Economics Committee.
added: “The [Trajtenberg] report which Netanyahu and [Finance Minister Yuval]
Steinitz boast about was part of a performance whose purpose was to silence the
socioeconomic protest. Through his actions, Netanyahu has delivered a blow to
the face of Trajtenberg, and a slap to the public.”
told Army Radio that he hopes the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee
will not block a Treasury request to add NIS 780 million to this year’s defense
budget at the expense of other ministries. The job of Knesset committees is not
to obstruct budgetary policy, but to supervise, Steinitz said.
addition to the defense budget, which has already been approved by the Finance
Committee, will be funded by reductions from the following ministries: Welfare
and Social Services; Industry, Trade and Labor; Housing; Tourism;
Communications; Energy and Water; and Environmental Protection.