As part of relief efforts by the Israeli government to deal with the coronavirus, the Finance Ministry, in collaboration with all government ministries, announced a package of economic measures intended to bolster the economy.
These measures are an attempt to reduce the damage to the Israeli economy from the consequences of the coronavirus outbreak, subject to the main consideration of maintaining public health, and include steps to stabilize trade and the economy in the new routine created by the coronavirus, alongside creating an infrastructure to expand the economy after the crisis.
In addition, NIS 5 billion will be allocated to "growth engines" for the economy.
Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon noted: "The coronavirus crisis that befell us is a crisis that the State of Israel has not known. We are going through and will go through more difficult days, but with this, the Treasury will continue to take all possible steps to stabilize the economy and reduce the damage and ensure that we emerge from the crisis reinforced."
To help the self-employed and small businesses, it was decided to advance payments to small and medium government contractors, to grant extensions to all businesses in transferring VAT to the state coffers, to defer and spread out Social Security payments for April, deferring compulsory payments from the self-employed and small and medium-sized businesses, deferring business tax payments while disbursing to the disadvantaged municipal authorities as well as a special grants to self-employed persons of up to NIS 6,000.
In addition, agreements were reached between workers' and employers' organizations on refraining from dismissals in the near future, instead allowing vacation or leave, as well as significantly easing entitlement requirements for unemployment benefits by shortening the waiting period and giving special grants to those laid off.
In order to ease the immediate financial burden on citizens, it was decided to introduce negative income tax payments, ease loans, increase credit ceilings, and allowing delayed repayment of mortgage payments by banks and the Housing Ministry for those eligible.