The recent days have seen a growing discussion and speculation as to the new 2007 budget. Hell – it’s not a discussion, this Monday a move to substantially increase the Defense budget is on its way and the losers are probably going to be the Welfare cases.

It seems like this little war we had was so bad that the answer now is throwing more money at Defense for the next fee years. Of course it had nothing to do with poor management and the screw ups running the Military budget to start with, no.

In any case it looks like the Ministry of Defense is asking for a 7 Billion Shekel increase to its budget. This past year the budget was 33 Billion and now the proposal being put forward by the ministry is to make that 51 Billion in 2007. Olmert is considering the move favorably (why not, politically it’s the right move). This would be the highest Defense budget in history for Israel. From the 51 Billion, 11 Billion are US aid and 40 Billion are from our own national budget.

Amir Peretz & Shelly Yechimovitz Defenders of the PoorNow when we say our own national budget this means that the people who will NO longer have a budget are the poor, the needy, the handicapped, the old and the sick. The Ministry of Social Services or Welfare as its called is going to need Welfare real soon if this budget increase goes through. Always the traditional loser in the budget wars, Welfare is an easy target. WHY you ask? Well.

Did I mention that the Welfare Ministry has no Minister running it? No?
Well, the typical Israeli politician feels like this is a no glory gig and so there is no point in pursuing that position. With all the big talk about social reform, being there to protect the poor and the looking out for the weaker elements in Israeli society, Amir Peretz and the Labour Party (including Shelly Yechimovitz) just never thought it was worth the fight and left that ministry to …… Olmert. It’s also ironic that the social defenders (Labour) are the ones screwing the poor. A far cry from those great campaign promises!

Yes, Mr. Prime Minister is the one looking out for the poor and needy as the reining Minister of Welfare. Unfortunately for them he is also the considering the Defense budget increase as a great idea and so Welfare is well….SCREWED!