MK Mickey Levy (Yesh Atid) responded to a report in The Marker on Sunday about an eight-fold increase in payments of yeshiva students by calling such Torah scholars "idle bums."
According to the report, the budget granted to yeshivas and kollels in December 2015 was eight times higher than in July.
In December, married yeshiva students received a monthly payment of 3,517 shekels ($904) while single yeshiva students received 1,954 shekels ($502). This is compared to the 432 shekels ($111) and 240 shekels ($62) granted to yeshiva students last July.
The huge jump seen between July and December is the result of a retroactive increase starting from the beginning of 2015.
Another report said the monthly payment yeshiva students receive will now be set as nearly twice the amount they were granted in July - making payments for married and single students 859 and 477 shekels, respectively.
A furious Levy blasted the move on Facebook. "This is what a budget to increase poverty looks like. Instead of expanding bonuses for work, we double the budget of idleness. This government has lost all brakes and brought to a new high to all sectoral budgets. Simply outrageous."
Levy has a history of of attacking the religious public. In April 2013, when he served as deputy finance minister, he called haredi Jews "parasites" and was later forced to apologize.