בנימין נתניהו
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Photo: Knesset Channel
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

PM hints further grants to citizens before Jewish holiday season

Payouts meant to ensure Israelis could afford to celebrate Jewish holiday season in respectable manner, as hundreds of thousands of households feared to have slipped under poverty line due to virus crisis

Gad Lior |
Published: 08.03.20 , 21:40
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hinted on Monday at further stimulus payouts to help Israeli citizens pull through the coronavirus crisis by the Jewish holiday season in mid-September.
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  • "We do not rest for a moment," said Netanyahu. "We will bring forth more and more plans, more and more money for Israeli citizens and businesses to kickstart the economy."
    בנימין נתניהובנימין נתניהו
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
    (Photo: Knesset Channel)
    The government is intent on handing out increased grants to disadvantaged sectors before the Jewish new year and a smaller grant to the rest of the population.
    These grants are meant to ensure Israelis could afford to celebrate the Jewish holiday season in a respectable manner, as hundreds of thousands of Israeli households are feared to have slipped under the poverty line in recent months due to the coronavirus crisis.
    So far, grants have been paid in four installments to self-employed workers. The government had also approved to pay out unemployment benefits until June 2021 to Israelis who have been furloughed or lost their jobs during the pandemic.
    The state is set to transfer around half of the increased NIS 1,500 grants to disadvantaged populations and citizens receiving stipends from the National Insurance Institute. The other half are slated to be transferred the next day.
    אנשים מחפשים אוכל בפחים בצל משבר הקורונהאנשים מחפשים אוכל בפחים בצל משבר הקורונה
    Citizen sifting through trash during coronavirus crisis
    (Photo: Nadav Eves)
    The rest of Israel's adult population that earns less than NIS 651,000 a year ($189,000) will receive a NIS 750 payout.
    Netanyahu also reiterated his opposition to a biennial state budget, saying such a relatively long-term financial plan would lead to significant cuts that would hinder the economy's ability to bounce back from the coronavirus crisis.
    "We must twig the meaning of approving a biennial budget. It means we'll have to deal with substantial financial cuts," said Netanyahu at the beginning of a Likud faction meeting. "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 healthcare system – we'll achieve this with an immediate budget."
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