The Labor and Welfare Committee, chaired by MK Efrat Rayten-Marom (Labor), convened on Wednesday and approved an increase in the annual grant to approximately 65,000 Holocaust survivors who are not eligible for a monthly stipend and about 51,000 victims of anti-Semitic and racist persecution during World War II, from NIS 3,991 to NIS 6,500. The annual cost allocated to this initiative is about NIS 300 million, and the Finance Ministry representative in the meeting, Eli Bing, explained that the amount of the increase for each eligible recipient, NIS 2,509, was derived from this sum.
Social Equality Minister Meirav Cohen said, “Among the Holocaust survivors, there is a group that is eligible for a monthly grant of between NIS 6,000–11,000, and there is a group that receives about NIS 4,000 only once a year, and that is a great injustice. Eighty percent of the second group currently receives income support. These are the poor Holocaust survivors, and they are the ones we are aiming our efforts at. Along with this increase, we also raised income support by NIS 500 per month. In addition, we are making an effort to bring more money from Germany and we have succeeded in obtaining approximately another NIS 4,000 for some of them annually, so for some of them it is an overall increase of NIS 13,000 per year.”
Committee Chair MK Rayten-Marom said, “The current budget has a lot of social-minded items; in the past week alone we have discussed disability pensions and Holocaust survivors, hundreds of millions of additional funds that we are approving here for these populations. There is a sense that positive things are happening, that we are succeeding in advancing important measures here, so we are thankful to the ministers and to the professional echelon for the cooperation.”