Netanyahu Hints at More Corona Grants Before Chagim

YERUSHALAYIM -
View of the National Insurance Institute offices in Yerushalayim. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu hinted at further stimulus payouts to help Israeli citizens cope with the coronavirus crisis before the chagim of Tishrei.

“We will bring forth more and more plans, more and more money for Israeli citizens and businesses to kickstart the economy,” said Netanyahu on Monday.

The stimulus payments are an attempt to address the concern that hundreds of thousands of Israeli households have slipped under the poverty line in recent months, due to the coronavirus crisis.
So far, grants have been paid to self-employed workers in four installments. The government also approved unemployment benefits until June 2021 for Israelis who lost their jobs or were laid off during the pandemic.

Roughly half of the augmented NIS 1,500 grants are set to be transferred, going to disadvantaged populations and citizens receiving stipends from the National Insurance Institute. The other half are slated to be transferred shortly afterwards. The rest of Israel’s adult population who earn less than NIS 651,000 a year ($189,000) will receive a NIS 750 payout.

Netanyahu reiterated his opposition to a two-year state budget, as a long-term financial plan would invariably lead to significant cuts, further limiting the economy’s ability to recover from the coronavirus crisis.

“A two-year budget means we’ll have to deal with substantial financial cuts. This is the exact opposite of what should be done. This is not the time for cuts, this is the time to allot funds to the people. We must continue for the welfare of the citizens of Israel, to open the education system, to transfer much-needed funds to the health-care system – we’ll achieve this with an immediate budget,” said Netanyahu at the beginning of a Likud faction meeting on Monday.