Agreement reached with disabled organizations on raising benefits collapses، disabled organizations renew protests، declare nationwide campaign against PM Netanyahu، Finance Minister Kahlon and Welfare Minister Katz; 'We're going to protest en masse، we've had enough of liars،' says one activist leader، as Ynet said.
Disabled organizations once again blocked the entrance to the Jerusalem offices of the Finance Ministry Thursday، in retaliation to the plan presented last week to raise disability benefits and on the backdrop of the government commencing its discussions on the state's 2019 budget، in which the raise is included.
The agreement was unveiled last week with much fanfare in a press conference attended by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu، Labor and Welfare Minister Haim Katz and Treasury Director-General Shai Babad، and was termed a "historic move" by the premier.
The various disabled organizations have been split on whether to support the original agreement—achieved through Histadrut Labor Federation mediation—but as of today no organizations have come out in support of the plan as it was presented last week.
The two organizations that spearheaded support of the settlement—"Disabled، Not Half a Person" and "The Disabled Protest Headquarters"—announced that as far as they were concerned the newest plan was a breach of the agreement، and threatened to resume protests، a threat they made good on Thursday.
Even Welfare Minister Katz، however، who only last week welcomed the Treasury's agreements with the organizations regarding raising benefits، announced Wednesday he planned on voting against the budget since the Treasury's Budgets Department refused to approve the plan as it was presented، he claimed.
In anticipation of Thursday's cabinet meeting، the "Disabled، Not Half a Person" organization came out with a nationwide physical and social media campaign under the heading، "Abandoning the disabled – against half measures."
The organization claimed that the framework agreement presented last week only referred to half of the budget the government committed to invest in the matter as part of the September Histadrut negotiations، and even left some of the agreed articles out.