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Govt. Won’t Vote on Trajtenberg

The government will discuss Trajtenberg findings – but without a vote. Decision follows pressure from within the coalition.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 10/3/2011, 3:43 AM

Government session (file)
Government session (file)
Flash 90

The government will meet Monday to discuss the Trajtenberg Committee’s findings on ways to ease the cost of living for Israelis, but will not hold a vote. The decision not to vote follows threats from coalition partners Shas and Yisrael Beiteinu (Israel Our Home) to vote against implementing the findings.

Even members of the Trajtenberg Committee have stated that their report is only partial, Shas head Eli Yishai said Sunday, explaining his opposition to a vote. “It doesn’t relate to the weak sectors, to those who cannot begin the month,” he said, referring to complaints that many Israelis cannot “finish the month.”

“In addition, it does not address the issue of public housing,” he said. Shas cannot vote on the document as is, he told Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, adding, “If someone insists on bringing the report to a vote, Shas ministers will be unable to support it.”

Hareidi-religious representatives previously argued that the report portrays their community as deliberately avoiding work, a portrayal they said is hurtful and inaccurate, and ignores the obstacles facing hareidi individuals who wish to join the workforce.

Student leaders and others involved in organizing “cost of living” protests over the summer had urged ministers not to vote on the report, which they criticized as insufficient. “The report has positive elements, but is also missing significant recommendations in some areas,” said Student Union head Itzik Shmuli.