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Ministers Approve Additional Virus Stipend for Weaker Sectors

July 21, 2020

by: Gad Lior

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Some 800,000 needy Israelis qualify for an additional financial stipend

Tuesday, 21 July 2020 | The inner cabinet on economics on Monday approved a higher stipend for Israelis from weaker sectors of society, in addition to the amount already pledged to every citizen during the pandemic crisis.

The inner cabinet, which is comprised of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Finance Minister Israel Katz, Economy Minister Amir Peretz and Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz, approved an additional NIS 750 [US $219] to those receiving state benefits, including pensioners, the disabled, recipients of income support and new immigrants.

Some 800,000 people are eligible for the additional payment.

The inner cabinet also decided that civil servants earning more than NIS 30,000 [US $8,760] per month (including the prime minister and president) and the self-employed making more than NIS 640,000 [US $187,000] per year will not receive any stipend at all.

The new payment comes on top of the initial stipend to be awarded to every Israeli adult that Netanyahu announced last week.

The original plan awards NIS 750 [US $219] to every adult without children, NIS 2,000 [US $584] to households with one child, NIS 2,500 [US $730] for households with two children and NIS 3,000 [US $876] for households with at least three children.

The government on Sunday approved the original plan, and Monday’s decision follows a request by ministers during the preceding debate for a more deliberate effort to help those in need.

The plan was to then go to the Ministerial Committee for Legislation for approval and presented to the Knesset [Parliament] within days for its three readings.

Netanyahu told ministers Sunday that the NIS 6 billion [US $1.75 billion] influx of funds to citizens would jump-start economic activity after months of stagnation and mass unemployment due to the virus.

“Speed is of the essence,” he told the government, insisting that any plan to identify those in further need would take too long.

Editor’s Note: We applaud Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s efforts to help the weaker sectors of Israeli society weather the coronavirus-induced economic storm. However, the sad truth is that the stipends are but a drop in the ocean of financial needs. The unemployment rate has doubled over the last month and every day more Israeli families have to fight to feed their families. You can help us help them by donating to our Food Project to show the support of Christians around the world and to help needy Israelis can put food on the table during this critical time.

Posted on July 21, 2020

Source: (Excerpt from an article originally published by Ynetnews on July 20, 2020. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Sarah Yoder/bridgesforpeace.com