C'tee Nixes Revote on Child-care Tax Breaks Despite Wrong Data

The Knesset plenum approved the bill that cancels recognition of child-care expenses as a tax-deductible cost yesterday in its second and third reading. The bill provides instead that working mothers will get tax credits, only for children under the age of 5, and starting only in 2012.

A storm raged in the Knesset prior to the vote, following TheMarker's exposure yesterday that legislators were misled by erroneous figures representing the value of the benefits working mothers would receive. The ministry admitted its error, but after correcting them, it was found that the value of the benefit is less than would have been received had recognition of child-care costs been recognized as tax-deductible. The Finance Ministry called it an honest mistake.

Following dissemination of the corrected data, MK Ronit Tirosh (Kadima) said that the new figures demonstrate the enormous divide between the bill and the Supreme Court ruling, according to which child-care costs should be recognized as tax-deductible.

Tirosh demanded that Finance Committee chairman Moshe Gafni hold a revote on the bill. Gafni (UTJ) convened the committee, but refused to hold another debate on the bill before bringing Tirosh's proposal to vote. The government coalition managed to raise a majority against the proposal. Voting against Tirosh's proposal were MKs Gafni; Amnon Cohen and Avraham Michaeli (Shas); Alex Miller and Fania Kirshenbaum (Yisrael Beitenu); Zeev Elkin and Tzipi Hotovely (Likud). In favor were Tirosh, Jacob Edry, Shai Hermesh, Orit Zuaretz (Kadima); Haim Oron (Meretz); Arieh Eldad (Ichud Leumi); and Ahmad Tibi (Ra'am-Ta'al).