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 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 per month (including the prime minister and president) and the self-employed making more than NIS 640,000 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 to every adult without children, NIS 2,000 to households with one child, NIS 2,500 for households with two children and NIS 3,000 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 within days for its three readings.
The plan has drawn condemnation from many economists and the opposition parties, who branded it an attempt to buy off the public in order to end the demonstrations over the prime minister's handling of the pandemic and to distract from his corruption trial.
Netanyahu told ministers Sunday that the NIS 6 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.