Lapid: Slashing child allotments will curb poverty

Finance Minister Yair Lapid: We will help needy make sure no children go hungry.

August 18, 2013 19:03
2 minute read.
Finance Minister Yair Lapid

Finance Minister Yair Lapid 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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Cuts in child allotments, which go into effect Tuesday, will end a cycle of poverty, Finance Minister Yair Lapid wrote in a letter to supporters.

“This was one of our central campaign promises, and now it’s happening,” Lapid wrote late Saturday night. “We will help needy families and set aside hundreds of millions [of shekels] to make sure no children go hungry, but [the cuts] are a historic move from a culture of allotments to a culture of work.”

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According to Lapid, National Insurance Institute child allotments perpetuated poverty instead of stopping it.

“There is only one thing that allows families to get out of the cycle of poverty – work. The poverty rate in families with two working parents is under 5 percent.

This is the meaning of parental responsibility and social responsibility,” he added.

The finance minister promised to do everything possible to help those who want to work, from placement programs to financial incentives for those who earn low salaries, but he will not compromise on the principle that “the Israeli middle class should not fund those who can work but choose not to.”

Lapid sent a long email to supporters, as he does most weeks, summarizing his and his party’s activities.

He began by denying reports that he cut pensions by 10 percent, saying that is not a spur-of-the-moment decision, but people are willing to believe all bad news.

However, despite a denial sent out by his office, Lapid wrote that “the public’s lack of faith is so deep that people instinctively believe that we’re trying to screw them over.”

Lapid promised that he is not trying to hurt anyone and that he hopes over time the public will understand that he and Yesh Atid are “different, truth-tellers, neutral of any interest other than doing good for Israel’s citizens.”

As for Education Minister Shai Piron’s decision to cancel the Meitzav assessment exams, Lapid said the next step is dramatically decreasing the number of Bagrut matriculation tests.

“Canceling exams is a step toward bringing our education system into the 21st century. In the 21st century, our children live in a world of cooperation, of teamwork, of the ability to find what is special in every individual. Instead of rigid parameters and endless rote memorization, our measures of success will be flexibility, creativity, originality and ability to listen,” Lapid explained.

He refrained from mentioning how to measure if success was attained within his new educational paradigm.

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