Holocaust survivors negotiate increased allowances with PMO

Meeting ends without agreement, sides to confer again Thursday.

For the second day in a row, representatives of Holocaust survivors living in Israel held a meeting at the Prime Minister's Office on Tuesday, in an attempt to reach an agreement on increasing the government's grants to survivors. The negotiations between the two sides over the super-sensitive issue, which is expected to be resolved by a Sunday meeting with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, will continue on Thursday, officials said. Holocaust survivor groups recently rejected a proposed government stipend of NIS 83 per month to some of the country's 250,000 Holocaust survivors as woefully insufficient. The state plan announced last month allocates NIS 130 million in financial assistance to Holocaust survivors next year, a sum that will be doubled in 2009 and eventually reach more than NIS 300 million by 2011. Nearly one-third of the country's survivors live in poverty, recent welfare reports have found, prompting growing calls for additional government assistance. Meanwhile, a state comptroller report on support to Holocaust survivors will be released on Wednesday. Separately, the Knesset is slated to hold a session next week on the welfare status of Holocaust survivors living in Israel.