In Israel: there is just not enough money available to borrow. And who can afford to run a government on ever increasing debt?
From The Jerusalem Post
The Finance Ministry has compiled a list of planned budgetary cuts, including to the defense, education, welfare and
budgets, which will be presented to the cabinet next week.
The plan recommends cutting NIS 2.5 billion from the Defense Ministry’s budget. In addition, the plan reportedly calls on the IDF to raise the retirement age and to decrease the salaries of all professional non-combat soldiers.
For the welfare budget, the Finance Ministry plan recommends decreasing child support payments by 10 percent. According to the proposal, all otherNational Insurance Institute funds would be “frozen” until the end of 2010. By implementing these measures, the Finance Ministry hopes to save NIS 900 million.
Another cost-cutting mechanism to be proposed by the Treasury is to toughen the unemployment benefits criteria. The ministry proposes cutting eligibility for unemployment benefits to 45 days for people younger than 35 years of age, 60 days for those between 35 to 45, and 90 days for those older than 45.
New immigrants are also not immune from the massive budget cuts. Tax exemptions up to NIS 6,000 for immigrants coming from countries “in distress,” as well as other purchase taxes are slated to be canceled.
Those interested in taking advantage of the suffering housing market will find eligibility for government-sponsored loans more difficult, as the budget for such loans will be cut to NIS 280 million.
The Treasury’s proposal also targets new mothers. The budget demands a NIS 50 payment from patients for every day of hospitalization, including for childbirth. In addition, the maximum payment to mothers on maternity leave will be reduced from NIS 1,296 per day to NIS 778 per day – saving an expected NIS 500 million. Finally, the ministry hopes to equalize the amount of money granted to new parents for each child; currently, couples receive a one-time payment of NIS 1,555 for the first child, NIS 700 for the second, and NIS 467 for each additional child, but the Treasury hopes to change that to a flat NIS 467 for all children.
The Treasury’s proposed plan also includes a NIS 200-million cut to the Education Ministry’s budget, with recommendations to halt programs that enable smaller classrooms in the lower grades.