Kadima unveils socioeconomic platform

Plan includes negative income tax, civil marriages and burials.

sheetrit smug 298 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
sheetrit smug 298
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Minister of Education Meir Sheetrit unveiled Kadima's socioeconomic platform Tuesday afternoon at a press conference that took place in the party's headquarters. The platform focused on getting the unemployed back into the workforce as a means of generating revenue for the country and reducing poverty. Kadima hopes that incentives such as a negative income tax will break people out of the cycle of welfare and unemployment.
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Education is another way to contribute to the workforce, said Sheetrit at the conference. He presented educational programs for the unemployed and poor as a way of reintroducing them to work, as well as introducing interest-free, long-term student loans, such as those that currently exist in England and Europe. Kadima also plans to pass a law legalizing civil marriages and burials. This would be a radical change for Israel, which currently only recognizes religious marriages and burials. Among the other points of the socioeconomic plan were a reduction in the number of foreign workers, lengthening the school day, and an obligatory pension plan for every worker. In contrast with other parties, Kadima presented no hard numbers or figures - only a vision. "We want to present real answers, not promises that we can't fulfill," said Sheetrit. "Kadima's groundless promises stand out in contrast to Olmert's lack of action as Minister of Finance," said a Likud spokesperson in response to Kadima's conference. "This lack of action has recently resulted in a lowering of prerequisite qualifications for employment and a weakening of the shekel in the money market. To get out of Olmert's cycle of economic paralysis ... the Likud would like to restate its offer to pass the budget before the elections."