Gov’t to Increase Grants to Disadvantaged; No Grants for the Highest Earners

YERUSHALAYIM -
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu‏‏ and Finance Minister Yisrael Katz. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90/File)

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Yisrael Katz have agreed to the demands of Blue and White and the Labor party to significantly increase the planned grants for the country’s disadvantaged.

Netanyahu met with Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz, Katz and Economy Minister Amir Peretz in order to discuss a model for allocating the grants to the citizens of Israel, and they agreed that the grants will be allocated to all citizens of Israel, except for those earning over NIS 640,000 per annum and senior civil servants earning over NIS 30,000 per month. Individuals defined among the following populations will receive larger grants: those receiving support payments for convalescent care, handicapped status, income assurance, needy new immigrants (who have been in the country for at least two years), the unemployed over 67 and the elderly who receive income supplements.

According to Peretz, some 800,000 Israelis will be entitled to an extra NIS 750 above the amounts agreed. Peretz said, “It’s very important that the message will be that the disadvantaged are the top priority during this period because these are the people that need every shekel they can get and will be part of getting the economy going.”

Under the plan as announced last week, a family with one child will receive a one-time NIS 2,000 grant, a family with two children NIS 2,500 and a family with three or more children NIS 3,000. All other adults over the age of 18 will receive NIS 750 each.

Earlier, MK Rabbi Moshe Gafni (UTJ), chairman of the Knesset Finance Committee, announced during a discussion in the Finance Committee that the program of grants will not pass because it is against the chareidi community.

“It will not pass here, they can bring it [for approval] to another committee,” Rabbi Gafni declared.

“I apologize to the Arab public,” he added, “that because of us you will not receive a grant for the fourth and fifth child; it’s because of us, the chareidim.”

MK Rabbi Eliyahu Chassid (UTJ) said during the committee meeting that “it is not possible for the third and fourth child to remain hungry,” due to the decision to grant NIS 3,000 to families with three or more children.