Indiscriminate Government Hand-Outs

The wind of change with the possibility of further elections is clearly in the air when Bibi’s government starts handing out money as though there were no tomorrow.

The Ministry of Finance estimates that the government’s current hand-out will cost the exchequer no less than NIS 6.5 billion.

The original plan was that parents would receive NIS 500 for each of their first three children. However, the charedi chairman of the finance committee, Moshe Gafni, blocked the proposal, insisting that the number of children in any one family to whom money would be allocated should not be limited. The cost of the expanded proposal is estimated at an additional NIS 100 million.

But what is the logic behind these hand-outs? Should those who are financially secure be included and, if so, why?

Should those families who don’t work and who already receive government aid be given additional support when their income has not been affected by the impact of COVID-19?

How can one possibly compare Kollel students, who receive monthly government stipends, with those in the travel and hospitality industries, who have seen their businesses destroyed and are now penniless?

Charedi families are entitled to have as many children as they like, but why should the public purse have to support them?

At a time when artists, musicians, actors, theatre workers, banqueting suite operators and airport staff are unemployed, why should those who have not been affected financially by the corona pandemic benefit?

At a time such as this, any responsible government should be helping those who are suffering. However, money should not be handed out indiscriminately but rather channeled to those who are really in need.

About the Author
Rabbi Boyden was educated and received his rabbinical ordination in London, England. Having served as the rabbi of Cheshire Reform Congregation for thirteen years, he made aliyah with his family in 1985. He has established Reform congregations in Ra'anana and Hod Hasharon and previously served as director of the Israel Reform Movement's Beit Din.
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