Budget cuts will allow increased aid for Shoah survivors

The government on Sunday approved cutbacks totaling some NIS 740 million from the 2008 budget to offer additional assistance to Holocaust survivors this year in keeping with the findings of a recent public commission of inquiry.

The budget cuts, which affect every ministry except for Defense and Education, will be used, in part, to implement the Dorner Commission recommendations regarding Holocaust survivor stipends, as well as towards the employment of an additional 1,000 policemen.

“In order to implement the commission’s recommendation, budget cuts were needed in all government ministries,” said Nachum Itzkovitz, Director-General of the Welfare and Social Affairs Ministry.

The panel’s proposal, which was presented on June 21, calls for a monthly increase of between NIS 1,000 and NIS 2,000 for about 43,000 survivors who had not benefited from a recent government agreement to boost the stipends of Holocaust survivors in Israel.