The Haifa city council this week approved a support budget of NIS 5.7 million for various public bodies operating in the city, reports www.mynet.co.il. But several councilors criticized the decision to allocate almost half the support budget to the sports sector, saying there was too little funding for those most in need. According to the report, the council approved the NIS 5.7 million support budget for 2009 after accepting the recommendations of the municipal sub-committee for the support of public institutions. The support budget designates NIS 2.5 million to sport, NIS 775,000 to the Arabic theater, NIS 623,000 to welfare, health and disabled organizations, NIS 523,500 to youth movements, NIS 428,900 to yeshivot and kollelim (Torah study centers), NIS 209,200 to culture, NIS 200,000 to the advancement of gender equality, NIS 173,000 to education, NIS 137,000 to Torah culture, NIS 87,000 to summer day camps, and NIS 65,000 to animal welfare organizations. Deputy Mayor Rami Levy and councilors Yaakov Borovsky and Ido Shimshon criticized the large allocation to the sports sector, saying the budget did not help those who really needed assistance and did not create growth and renewal. But city treasurer Jacky Vakim responded that the size of the budget had been decided by city managers, and that an increase in one area would come at the expense of other areas.