Eitan: Survivors need more money

Pensioner affairs minister: 2008 allocation was promised in former legislation.

jp.services2 (photo credit: )
(photo credit: )
Pensioner Affairs Minister Rafi Eitan said on Monday that the 2008 state budget does not adequately address the problem of Holocaust survivors' financial benefits, Army Radio reported. In an angry letter to Finance Minister Ronnie Bar-On and the official responsible for the funding, Eitan contended that the money allocated to the survivors in the budget had already been promised in the past as part of privately-initiated legislation and did not resolve the issue. The survivors have been protesting the low stipends promised them in the budget, which was approved by the cabinet on Sunday. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has promised to resolve the issue and work toward developing a new aid package. However, no such package has yet been implemented. According to government estimates, there are more than 240,000 Holocaust survivors in Israel. The Center of Organizations for Holocaust Survivors says that 10,000 to 15,000 survivors live below the poverty line. Sheera Claire Frenkel contributed to this report.