Israeli Cabinet approves economic safety net plan

New aid plan will spend some 10.5 billion shekels to aid businesses and wage-earners harmed by ongoing lockdown.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Cabinet meeting (archive)
Cabinet meeting (archive)
Marc Israel Sellem

The Israeli Cabinet voted Monday night in favor of a plan pushed by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Yisrael Katz to expand the economic safety net during the coronavirus crisis.

Expanding the plan will enable immediate economic assistance for businesses and wage-earners who are expected to be hurt by the current lockdown.

"Today the Cabinet approved the reinforcement and expansion of the economic safety net that we have spread, and which is working well and is aiding the public,” said Katz.

“After the decision to declare a lockdown, we decided to reinforce and expand the economic safety net with additional economic measures. We will continue to be attentive to the difficulties and will find rapid solutions that will provide appropriate responses to wage-earners ad the self-employed in wake of the crisis."

The overall cost of the steps and the expansion of the response to businesses, wage-earners and the self-employed according to the existing plans is estimated to be NIS 10.5 billion ($3.04 billion).

The Cabinet also authorized the Finance Minister to circulate a draft memorandum on lowering the salaries of MKs, ministers, the Prime Minister, and the inclusion of other officeholders whose salaries exceed that of MKs by 10%.

"On Thursday, we presented an additional economic assistance plan for businesses in Israel, alongside an economic safety net that will operate until June 2021,” said Netanyahu.

“We declared additional grants to retain workers, expand state-guaranteed loans, advance grant payments and allocate grants for fixed expenditures also to businesses that were hurt by 25% and up – we expanded eligibility thereby.”

“Today, the Finance Minister will bring these and other decisions – including lowering senior officials' salaries by 10% -- before the Cabinet. We must all bear the burden and we as ministers must also stand together in one row behind the steps that we will take to and in the face of the reality that will be difficult."