Knesset Passes Economic Arrangements Law

Aerial view of the Knesset. (Moshe Shai/FLASH90)

The Knesset passed Thursday the second and third readings of the Economic Arrangements Law by 61 MKs to 57.

The Economic Arrangements Law, which accompanies the annual budget, includes drastic reforms such as gradually raising the retirement age for women from 62 to 65, over the next eleven years. The law also includes a range of measures to compensate women, including doubling work grants, extending unemployment benefits, higher social support payments and an allocation of NIS 82.5 million for professional retraining of women aged 57-60.

The Arrangements Law also includes the introduction of the congestion charge in the Tel Aviv Metropolitan region from 2025. According to the law, between 6:30 a.m. and 10 a.m., for vehicles traveling towards Tel Aviv, it will cost NIS 5 to enter the outer ring, NIS 10 to enter the middle ring and an additional NIS 10 to enter the inner ring for a maximum of NIS 25. Between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. cars in both directions will pay NIS 2.50 to enter the outer ring, NIS 5 to enter or exit the middle ring and an additional NIS 5 to enter or exit the inner ring. Motorcycles (and scooters), buses and emergency vehicles will travel for free, while trucks will pay double. Taxis will pay 50% which will immediately be added on to their passenger’s fares.

The law also includes reforms in the kashrus market and regulations to bring imports into line with EU standards.

The kashrus reform would establish a series of private kosher certification agencies, instead of only the Chief Rabbinate itself issuing kashrus certifications.

The law also cuts the ceiling of use of cash from NIS 11,000 to NIS 6,000 from August 2022. Cash deals between private individuals will fall from NIS 50,000 to NIS 15,000, except for the sale of second-hand cars where the ceiling will remain at NIS 50,000.

Earlier in the day, the Knesset passed the 2021 Budget Law and it is expected to pass the 2022 Budget Law later in Thursday.