The Knesset’s Finance Committee approved a transfer of NIS 400 million from the Interior Ministry’s reserve towards food stamps for those in need, ahead of Rosh Hashanah and the rest of the High Holidays.
The plan was approved on Tuesday with changes made to the original outline which was proposed by Shas leader Arye Deri.
Those eligible in the original outline were:
* Families who are eligible for a 70% or higher discount on property tax. These families would receive NIS 300 a month for each parent and NIS 225 per child.* Single mothers relying on child support. These women would only get NIS 600 a month regardless of how many children they had.* Couples who rely on National Insurance to supplement their incomes due to low salaries. They would receive NIS 150 each and no extra money for children.
With this outline, a significant number of Holocaust survivors in need would have been left out, but chairwoman of the Holocaust Survivors Treatment Committee MK Merav Cohen announced that changes were made on Tuesday to ensure that some 41,000 Holocaust survivors would also get the help they need from the food stamps.
Another change that was made was that families eligible for a discount on property tax will only receive money per child up to eight children and single mothers relying on child support will be given money per child for up to two children.
“I sleep well at night knowing that we are helping the weakest people, the poorest people, no matter where they live,” said Health and Interior Minister Moshe Arbel.
He added that in regard to Holocaust survivors, NIS 8m. were set aside to help those who were most in need.
Cohen said that she was happy that the outline had been expanded to help Holocaust survivors but was disappointed that they hadn’t achieved a more equal plan between the larger families and the single mothers.
“We made a promise and we kept it,” said Deri. “The food stamp initiative for needy families in Israel is underway. I congratulate the Finance Committee on approving the budget so that we can start the first stage ahead of the High Holidays.”
According to data presented by the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, just over 40% of Israelis will have to cut down on spending in order to afford food for Rosh Hashanah, and 30% will need aid.
This comes as the cost of living continues to rise with the prices of many products being raised in the last year. As a result, almost two-thirds of Israelis have had to cut down on food spending.