This number appears as a big headline on the front page of yesterday's (Tuesday 3/11) Mishpacha newspaper. Here is how they came to these numbers:
I. Income Assumptions
Married couple with 6 kids
The husband/father learns in kollel and receives a stipend of 1800 shekel
The wife/mother works as a teacher/ganenet - 3400 shekel a month
Other income - Night Kollel/Friday kollel - 400 shekel a month
Total Income: 5600 shekel a month
Government benefits Received
Child payments - 1592 shekel
Arnona (property tax) reduction - 90%
Private Elementary Schools - 55% - 75% government support Yeshiva Ketana - 850 shekel ~ 1450 shekel a month
II. What will be Cut
Child payments - 542 shekel reduction
Arnona reduction - 0% (no reduction)
Education - No government money, reduction of 1450 shekel
Kollel Stipend - no more
III. How will this be implemented?
There are 2 basic policy shifts which will happen to cause all of the above to happen.
1. Currently, government benefits are income based per number of heads in the household. Therefore, Charedim qualify because they have low incomes plus large families. However, the government is now going to introduce another criterion into the mix. To get low income government benefits you will have to prove that you have tried to go out and make a living, what they call in Hebrew מיצוי כושר השתכרות. In other words, if you don't work, or try to find work, you don't get government money.
2. No funding of schools that don't teach the core curriculum. Today these schools get between 55%-75% funding, depending on what they teach Now it will be all or nothing, if the full core curriculum isn't taught the government will provide no funding.
I have to say that I believe that these are good and needed reforms. If you are poor by choice then that is your choice and no one else should be forced to support you. Regarding school funding, the fact is that just about everywhere else in the world there is a mandatory curriculum that every school (public, Catholic, Charedi, etc.) must follow. Therefore, it is perfectly legitimate for the State of Israel to impose these requirements as well. Somehow the Charedim in NY and Manchester and Antwerp, and everywhere else outside of Israel manage to live with that.
If these changes take place they will force the Charedi world in Israel to rethink Torah only, there is no way that the Charedi world as it is constituted today can survive these kind of cuts.