ישראל אייכלר
ישראל אייכלרפלאש 90

According to the National Insurance Institute (NII) 2015 report, Israel is fourth lowest among OECD countries in welfare expenditure. The only countries which spend less than Israel on welfare are Mexico, Chile and South Korea.

Old age pensions, child allowances and unemployment benefits are among the lowest in the Western world and the chance of an Israeli child living below the poverty line is 1 in 4.

MK Yisrael Eichler (United Torah Judaism) responded to the report by saying that the poor people of Israel suffer doubly, since "In the countries with low pensions and child allowances the taxes are also low and the cost of living is significantly lower. Here, the public becomes impoverished because of the cost of living and housing which stems from heavy taxation, but the assistance for the poor is lower than that of most other countries.

Eichler, who serves as the head of the Committee for Public Inquiries, asked the welfare minister and prime minister to take action in the wake of the NII report. "There is no reason why the state of Israel should be like Mexico and Chile and invest in welfare as little as the worst countries. The government has a huge budget and bloated bureaucracies as well as tremendously wasteful habits for those who are within the system. Most of the haredim in Israel are among the poorer members of society because they are disqualified by the state from every job and from receiving every budget."

He added that "Yom Kippur cannot atone for the state's crimes against its oppressed citizens unless it compensates the poor in one of two different ways. First, it must curb the cost of living increases as well as housing prices and remove taxes from essential items. Second, it must add to the welfare budgets, the pensions and the child allowances. This is the repentance required from all of us in these days of repentance."