The NGO Ken Lazaken, which aims at defending the rights of seniors in Israel, published on Sunday a comparative overview of the major parties running for the 19th Knesset and their positions on issues relevant to the elderly.

The study assessed the parties’ positions on pension allowances, nursing care, Shoah survivors employment and more, based on the discourse of their campaigns.

Ken Lazaken’s data suggests that Meretz is the party most favorable to the rights of senior citizens in Israel, followed by Yesh Atid and Labor.

The organization had also surveyed Likud Beytenu, Bayit Yehudi, The Tzipi Livni Party, Kadima and Shas.

On the issue of pension allowances, which currently amount to NIS 1,480, most of the parties, offered partial solutions to increase the sum.

Shas, for example, aims at bringing it up to a third of the national average wage, while Labor talked about making it 20 percent of the national average wage.

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Meretz however stated that in the absence of additional income, individual pension allowances should be at the minimum wage.

To this day, long-term nursing care is not an insured service in Israel and is regulated by seven different authorities. While The Tzipi Livni P arty talked about a nursing care reform, Yesh Atid proposes a shift of the responsibility of nursing care exclusively to health maintenance organizations. The party supports the idea of longterm hospital care, the establishment of daycare centers and the need to encourage families caring for their senior members.

Meretz has also revealed its stances for large-scale daycare nursing centers and minimizing the financial participation of families in caring for the elderly.

On this issue, Ken Lazaken noted positive policies for most parties, but Bayit Yehudi’s stance was only partially positive, according to the data.

As far as Holocaust survivors are concerned, Yesh Atid promises that it will ensure that they remain on top of the priorities list in order to provide them with proper care and a dignified life. The party also proposes to assign people doing national service to help survivors with daily issues such as domestic tasks, nursing care and loneliness.

Meretz takes the issue further and talks about the enactment of a law guaranteeing the rights of survivors.

All parties surveyed brought the issue up in their campaign except for Shas, which made no reference to it, according to Ken Lazaken.

Shas also failed to mention one of NGO’s main areas of concern: the possibility of employment past the formal retirement age.

The organization found that only Meretz, Labor, Bayit Yehudi and Kadima were entirely in favor of supporting a law guaranteeing the right to work and volunteer at any age depending on the senior’s skills and health condition.

Likud Beytenu, The Tzipi Livni Party and Yesh Atid only partially agree with such an initiative.

Ken Lazaken called for seniors and pensioners to go to the polls on Tuesday and exercise their democratic right to vote.

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