Kahlon Proposes Raise in Assistance to Elderly

YERUSHALAYIM -

Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon has proposed an income supplement for Israel’s elderly that could raise their annual incomes by as much as 6,000 shekels, or $1,560 a year, The Jerusalem Post reported.

“Seniors cannot earn on their own. We must help those who aren’t able to work,” Kahlon said at the weekly cabinet meeting.

The program, the first part of which is to take effect in January, will come in the form of increased welfare allotments for approximately 230,000 recipients, for housing and other vital needs.

The second is a tax credit, referred to as “negative income tax,” also called the “earned income tax credit” in places such as the United States. As an incentive to work and be self-supporting, the government adds to the paychecks of low earners rather than taxing them.

Kahlon’s program would raise existing benefits for those earning between NIS 2,070 and NIS 6,800 a month by 6 percent to 13 percent. A couple under the age of 70, for example, would earn NIS 542 over their current NIS 4,164 each month, a 13 percent increase. A single person over the age of 80 would see his monthly supplement of NIS 3,016 increase 4.5 percent, to NIS 3,151.