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The long list of businesses and services that can deduct payments directly from government employees' paychecks will be cut back, according to Shuki Oren, the treasury's accountant general.

Now 1,500 businesses are allowed to take payments directly from state workers in return for services and products they sell.

"We intend to reduce the ability to use the paycheck like a credit card," Oren told the Knesset Finance Committee yesterday. The change is part of the process of formulating criteria for payments and standing orders via government employee paychecks. The criteria will be set in cooperation with the government employees union within the next few weeks.

As of January 1, state workers were not allowed to make new commitments and pay for them through their monthly paychecks, though previous commitments will continue to be honored, including those to Bank Yahav.

This was the third session held by the Finance Committee relating to the banking and loan services tender for state employees, which was won by Bank Discount after years of Bank Yahav being the sole bank with access to employees' paychecks.