Pressure pays: Gov't grant scheme expanded to all children

Moshe Gafni

Knesset Finance committee chair Moshe Gafni threatened to block the bill unless the limit on eligible children in a family was lifted.

The pressure brought to bear by Knesset Finance Committee chairperson Moshe Gafni (United Torah Judaism) has paid off. The legislation for one-time state payouts will be altered to entitle parents to a grant for every child in the family. This is contrary to the original decision whereby parents would receive NIS 500 for each child, but only for up to three children. The cost of the change is estimated at NIS 100 million, which is in addition to the cost of the scheme as originally estimated by the Ministry of Finance of NIS 6.5 billion.

Gafni threatened that he would not let the bill pass the Finance Committee, and sources inform "Globes" that the threat was effective, and the bill will be changed to state that parents will receive a payout of NIS 500 for the fourth child as well, and then NIS 300 for the fifth and each child after that. The sources said that Minister of Finance Israel Katz and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were involved in the overnight negotiations.

The agreement paves the way for approval of the bill by the Finance Committee, which is due to discuss it today. The bill will then go for final approval to the Knesset plenum, perhaps as early as tomorrow.

Yesterday, the deputy legal counsel at the Ministry of Finance said that the cash would reach people's bank accounts by Thursday, but the National Insurance Institute, which is responsible for distribution of the handout, said that because it did not have up-to-date details of all bank accounts, the transfer would probably take place next week.

Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on July 28, 2020

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2020

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