The Social Guard’s Knesset Update for the week of November 14th, 2014: a weekly summary of what’s on the Knesset’s socio-economic agenda brought to you by the Social Guard in the Knesset, the Israeli public’s voice for transparency, democracy, and social justice.
Poverty Day at the Knesset – on Wednesday, the Social Guard came together with a variety of civil society partners, including the forum for the fight on poverty, Sikkuy, Shatil, and The Association for Civil Rights (ACRI) to bring the struggle against poverty to the floor of the Knesset. Our volunteer observers were present at a variety of Knesset committee discussions that focused on concrete ways to pass legislation that will decrease Israel’s poverty rate, which is one of the highest in the Western World.
The Opening of Discussion in the Finance Committee about the 2015 Budget – after passing its initial plenary vote, the 2015 Budget returned to the Knesset Finance Committee for further discussion. Our observers and staff have been present for every Knesset committee meeting around the budget, and we will continue to advocate for a budget that promotes social justice and decreases the growing inequalities present in Israeli society.
The Ministers Committee voted in favor of restricting the rights of workers to strike and against increasing child allowances and easing access to welfare rights. This week, the Ministers Committee met to discuss and vote on a variety of bills that will then be supported by the governing coalition. Among the bills that gained coalition support is one that puts restrictions on the rights of public workers to strike, requiring an increased amount of notification before a strike and restricting the rights of workers to strike for "political reasons". What exactly those political reasons are is thus far unclear.
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Knesset Observer Update of the Week – One of our volunteer observers was present for a Finance Committee meeting in which a law was not enforced due to "technical difficulties". During a Finance Committee discussion about budget transfers, it was discussed that close to 150 Million shekels of finance committee money are confidential and thus impossible to track. Many members of the Finance Committee from the governing coalition were not present for the discussion, yet showed up at the last minute for the vote.