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The treasury wants to cut NIS 50 million from the budget for helping demobilized soldiers, and the Knesset Finance Committee is not cooperating. The fund to aid former soldiers has an NIS 90-million reserve from underutilization over the past three years of its NIS 130 million annual budget.

MKs said they will not allow the former soldiers to be harmed. The reason for the excess funds is the failure of the Defense and Finance ministers to agree on a joint candidate for the public representative to the fund's board. Therefore, the fund has been unable to provide additional aid to new veterans.

The fund grants three forms of aid. First, a grant upon finishing the army and second, a fund to assist veterans in buying an apartment, starting a business, further education, professional training or marriage. Those who do not use the entire grant for one of these purposes receive the remainder after five years. The third form of assistance is for veterans in difficult socioeconomic situations.

At the same time the treasury gave up on its plans to require National Insurance Institute payments on passive income such as dividends, royalties and rent. The treasury told the committee yesterday in a session on the Economic Arrangements Law that it would not demand such payments on income that is taxed at a limited rate, such as the 25-percent rate for dividends.