Welfare minister demands government cancel planned cut to budget

Welfare and Social Affairs Minister Isaac Herzog is demanding that the government cancel a planned NIS 22 million cut to the ministry's 2008 budget, to be carried out in the immediate future. Herzog sent a strong objection to the planned budget cut to Cabinet Secretary Ovad Yehezkel, ahead of Sunday's cabinet meeting in which the Finance Ministry will present its overall plan to cut NIS 750 million from the various ministries' budgets without delay. Herzog explained his objection in that there is an understanding that his ministry must not be included in across-the-board budget cuts, since this would hurt the weakest sectors of society. Such a limitation of resources, he said, would hurt youth in distress, shelters for abused women and the homeless, rehabilitation of the handicapped and aid to autistic children.