Addressing the plenum, Shas chairman Aryeh Deri slammed the government, specifically the Yesh Atid party and its leader, Finance Minister Yair Lapid. "This is what we have to do: We must turn to Knesset members from the coalition and ask them to please be more compassionate," Deri said.
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"Every day we see what this budget will do to families, and what we have to deal with. There is no proportion. NIS 7.2 billion ($1.98 billion) is the budget of all the child care in Israel and NIS 4 billion ($1.1 billion) will be deducted," he said.
Deri further added: "The child support budget, why would you care, it's mainly for haredim and Arabs. Don't the haredi and Arab sectors need to feed their children? We will find ourselves at the International Court of Justice. You are jeopardizing human rights."
Deputy Finance Minister Mickey Levy (Yesh Atid) responded on behalf of the government: "Unfortunately, the opposition members did not allow us even one day of grace. While dealing with the deficit catastrophe we inherited, we are also dealing with economic issues that require in-depth and long-term care, which you refrained from addressing while being part of the Israeli governments."
Last week, the Knesset passed the 2013-14 State Budget Bill in the first reading, with 58 MKs voting in favor and 44 voting against it. During the hearing, which lasted more than eight hours, some 150 protesters rallied outside the Knesset against the new economic policies. The protesters, who were mainly youths and university students, were joined by several opposition Knesset members.
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