Thursday, June 12, 2008

Knesset Approves Early Version of Child-Expenses Law

Hillel Fendel

The Knesset approved a preliminary reading of a bill recognizing child-care expenses as tax deductible - in opposition to the government's stance.

The bill is designed both to ease the financial burden of caring for children and to encourage mothers to go out to work. Only families with both parents working full-time - or where the single parent responsible for the children works full-time - will benefit. Expenses for children up to the age of 5 will be recognized. The bill passed by a 48-33 vote, but it is still far from becoming law. It must be debated in a Knesset committee, approved in a first reading, passed back to a Knesset committee, and then passed again by the Knesset plenum.

The legislation was submitted by six Knesset members, both from the opposition and the coalition, including Ariel, Saar, Gal'on, Tirosh, Noked, and Hilu.

The bill is staunchly opposed by the Finance Ministry, and faces a tough battle before becoming law.

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