eli yishai 298 88 aj.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor Eli Yishai on Thursday announced his decision to cancel the controversial "welfare-to-work" plan, widely known as the Wisconsin Plan, to be replaced by a completely new program that would be tailored to the younger population.
"Following visits at Wisconsin Plan employment centers, I realized that despite the recent changes and corrections to the program, many unemployed continued to suffer," said Yishai. "The program is deficient in its basic structure and it needs to be changed in its origin."
Therefore Yishai decided to close the program, announcing that he would enforce a change in legislation in an effort to replace the current program that would focus on providing training and employment placement to a younger age group.
The Wisconsin Plan was passed in the Knesset in 2004 as part of the Economic Arrangements Bill. Its declared objective was to allow those receiving National Insurance Institute payments who were able to work to join productive employment environments.
Since Yishai took up his current post he has partially removed from the plan some of the persons for whom it was created, namely the chronically unemployed, single parents of young children, the elderly and the handicapped.
The plan has been criticized since its inception for threatening to take away people's social welfare benefits if they refused to participate. Yishai argues, that the program as is operated today forces a large number of participants with great difficulties in finding work, including those with special needs, single mothers and elderly people to spend 30 to 40 hours a week at the designated employment centers otherwise their guaranteed income benefits would be revoked.
Yishai only recently passed a number of corrections to overhaul the program in an effort to ease conditions.