Knesset Speaker MK Yuli Edelstein (Likud-Yisrael Beytenu) revealed on Sunday that he had tried to remove sections of the annual State budget that would have hurt the hareidi-religious population, but backed down after he faced fierce opposition from Finance Minister Yair Lapid.
Speaking to The Marker, Edelstein said that he ultimately agreed to leave the anti-hareidi sections in the budget and agreed that the sections relating to the Wisconsin Program, aimed to increase participation in the workforce by forcing welfare recipients to find employment, will be removed instead.
"I wanted to remove the sections that hurt the hareidim, because people expect that the Knesset Speaker will protect all populations against attacks,” said Edelstein. “I tried to remove these items from the Budget Law and the Economic Arrangements Law. In my opinion, these issues require extensive public debate and do not belong in the Arrangements Law. But then I saw that the Finance Minister insisted on them, so I agreed that they be included in the law, in exchange for the Wisconsin Plan being taken out.”