Political stagnation worsening poverty, report finds

Poverty

According to the Latet organization's Alternative Poverty Report, 2,306,000 Israelis live in poverty.

One in every five families, one in every four individuals, and one every three children lives in poverty, according to the alternative poverty report released today by the Latet organization. Latet provides assistance to thousands of needy families in Israel.

According to the report, 530,000 families in Israel, 20.9% of the total number of households in the country, and 2,306,000 individuals (25.6% of the population), among them 1,007,000 children, live in poverty. The average outgoing for a family receiving aid is NIS 6,933, 32.4% more than the average income of NIS 5,237. 79.8% of the families receiving aid have at least one wage earner, and nearly one fifth (19.8%) have two wage earners or more.

As in previous years, the level of poverty indicated by Latet's multi-dimensional measures is substantially higher than the level found by the National Insurance Institute, which determines a poverty line based on income only. Trend figures show stabilization in poverty levels in the past few years, alongside a worsening of the depth of poverty and greater obstacles to emergence from it.

"Government policy tools directed at the issue are generally limited and insufficient to diminish the problem substantially, to which has been added stagnation in government and political instability because of the two elections a short time apart in 2019, leading to the loss of an entire year in the ability to deal with prevention and reduction of poverty and rescue from it," Latet says.

This is the sixth year in which an alternative, multi-dimensional poverty measure has been applied. Unlike the official poverty report, which is based on income, the multi-dimensional measure estimates a family's shortage of means in five areas reflecting the basic needs for living in dignity in Israel: housing; education; health; nutritional security; and the ability to cope with the cost of living. The measure, developed by the ERI Institute for Latet, determines whether a family is in a situation of lack of deficiency, deficiency, or severe deficiency in each of these areas.

Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on December 9, 2019

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2019

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