MKs unite in favor raising the disability allowance

“We will ask the government, as a united front, to approve this plan,” coalition chairman, David Bitan stated.

June 22, 2017 20:42
2 minute read.

Two new laws give disabled more employment opportunities (Illustrative). (photo credit: INGIMAGE)

Representatives of Knesset factions from Right, Left and Center have agreed to advance a plan to double the disability allotment.

The cabinet will submit a bill to the Knesset, coalition chairman David Bitan (Likud) said at a press conference in Tel Aviv on Thursday. It was decided that the bill will include a section saying that the allotment will be linked to changes in the minimum wage.

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It was determined that the raise will occur in two stages; the first will be in January 2018, when the allotment will be raised to NIS 3,200 per month, and in the second stage, at a date which has yet to be determined, it will be raised to NIS 4,000.

The monthly minimum wage, for someone working 46 hours per week, is currently NIS 5,000.

The Knesset members agreed to pass the bill by the end of the current session to enable it to come into effect in January 2018.

The lawmakers who attended the conference were Bitan and Nava Boker from the Likud; Merav Michaeli, Yoel Hasson and Miki Rosenthal from the Zionist Union, Karin Elharar from Yesh Atid, Shuli Moalem-Refaeli from Bait Yehudi, Michael Malkieli and Yigal Gueta from Shas, Merav Ben- Ari from Kulanu, and Ilan Gilon from Meretz.

The common position of the participating MKs was akin to the recommendations presented by the Zelekha Committee. Thus it was tantamount to a rejection of the recommendations of the committee that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had appointed and was headed by Prof. Avi Simchon. The latter recommended raising the allotment from NIS 2,340 to some NIS 3000-NIS 3,800.

For the reform to become law, the cabinet needs to approve the plan, and then the Knesset should pass it in three readings.

Bitan stressed at the conference that the prime minister and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon are leaning toward accepting the plan.

“I did not speak with them yet about the small details... but it will be settled,” he said. “The prime minister did not promise me [that it will pass], but I believe that it will.”

Gilon, who managed to get a bill with same goal passed in a preliminary reading last December, said that this is an historic moment in which justice is done.

“Now, over 250,000 people with disabilities in Israel could get some relief,” he said. “This is an unprecedented achievement in the battle for disabled people in Israel.”

Yuval Bagno/Maariv contributed to this report.

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