Anti-Poverty Panel Recommends Multi-Billion Shekel Plan

YERUSHALAYIM (Hamodia Staff) -

The Committee to Fight Poverty is preparing recommendations for a 6-8 billion shekel plan, according to media reports.

The annual poverty report released in December by the National Insurance Institute and the Central Bureau of Statistics in 2012 found that there were 1,754,700 people, including 439,500 families and 817,200 children, living below the poverty line — 23.5% of the population.

Despite those and previous studies depicting an increasingly grim situation, the Israeli government has yet to allocate any funds to address poverty in Israel on a national scale.

The Committee, headed by Eli Alalouf, held a closed-door sesson on Wednesday discuss its final recommendations, to be released on June 16.

The recommendations are expected to include the establishment of a family support system, which will include services such as employment training and day care centers, encouraging mothers to enter the workforce; increased public housing and rental assistance; expanded funding to train and hire more social workers, reducing the case load from as much as 100 families to 50-60 families, according to The Jerusalem Post.

However, the fate of recommendations carrying a multi-billion shekel price tag at a time when the government is contemplating cutbacks in light of an 18billion deficit, seems uncertain, to say the least. Opposition is expected from the Bank of Israel and Finance Ministry.