Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz 311 R.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)
This year’s defense budget will be cut by NIS 700 million to fund free education
for children aged 3-4, Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz said
RELATED:Barak blames Steinitz for defense budget dispute
Defense to receive NIS 780m. at expense of other
His promise comes after weeks of speculation that the
government was planning to abandon completely the NIS 3 billion shekel defense
budget cut recommended by the Trajtenberg Report on socioeconomic
The report, which was issued in response to last summer’s
protests over the cost of living, recommended introducing free education for
children aged 3-4 and after-hours education care for children aged
It said the measure should be partly funded through cutting the
defense budget by NIS 3b. each year from 2012-16.
Prime Minister Binyamin
Netanyahu is expected to submit a proposal soon on what he believes is the
proper balance between security, economic and social needs.
Shelly Yacimovich slammed the government after Wednesday’s announcement, saying
the education program should be funded from NIS 3.5b.
in excess tax
revenues, and not from cuts to other budgets like health, welfare and internal
“When one hand provides service, and the other cuts it, we are
talking about misappropriation – about a blow to our fundamental needs – and
further expansion of social inequality. If Prime Minister Netanyahu does not
understand, it can be explained to him simply that this is akin to asking his
eldest son to eat less in order to finance the meal of his youngest
Steinitz’s made the promise as he presented a Finance Ministry plan
to adopt the “Chilean model” of privatization of the state pension
In addition, Steinitz said the ministry would launch a program to
locate the rightful owners of an estimated NIS 15b. in unclaimed money held in
pension, provident and advanced training funds.