Reserve soldiers (archives)
Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Office
Photo: Gil Yohanan
Defense Minister Ehud Barak's motion to grant reserve soldiers a benefits package was carried unanimously in Monday's cabinet meeting.
Barak and deputy defense minister, Knesset Member Matan Vilnai (Labor-Meimad), have been trying to approve a benefits package for reserve soldiers for the past few weeks.
The proposed package included tax breaks, academic alleviations, municipal utilities relief and even State assistance in buying a car.
The overall complexity of the motion, as well as the fact that the Defense and Finance ministries have been butting heads over the proposed tax breaks, have caused Barak to pull his motion for the reservists' benefits package twice before.
Faced with what seemed to be endless delays with the bill's approval, various reservists' organizations, such as the brigade commanders' forum and the IAF airmen association, began bombarding both Barak and Vilanai with angry letters; prompting the two to assure them the bill would be brought before the government.
The motion carried Monday makes reservists eligible for academic alleviations and for tax breaks, the extent of which is still to be determined by the Finance and Defense Ministries.