Katz: Treasury, NII unable to defend proposal for ‘housewife tax’

Meeting cut short after ministries discuss new tax of NIS 61 per month; Katz calls to check "economic viability."

July 16, 2013 01:27
1 minute read.
Israeli government at the Knesset, April 22, 2013.

Cabinet standing up Knesset 370. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)

The Finance Ministry and National Insurance Institute are unable to explain the benefits that will arise from requiring housewives to pay NII taxes, says Knesset Labor, Welfare and Health Committee chairman Haim Katz (Likud Beytenu), who on Monday cut short a meeting on the issue.

The committee discussed the new tax of NIS 61 per month on housewives, who are defined as married women who do not work or pay for their own NII coverage, but whose husbands are covered.

“I’m not rejecting the idea outright, but we need to check the economic viability for housewives,” Katz said.

Dov Be’eri, of the Finance Ministry’s Budget Division, explained that the basis of the welfare state was mutual responsibility.

“Everybody has to pay,” Be’eri stated. “Housewives are the only population that doesn’t.”

Miriam Shmeltzer, of the National Insurance Institute’s research department, said 2,000 housewives receive an old-age stipend each year, but Katz insisted that she lacked sufficiently specific data.

MKs Orly Levi-Abecasis (Likud Beytenu) and Merav Michaeli (Labor) asked what the basis was for the proposed change. Katz complained that the Finance Ministry and NII did not bring enough information to make a decision.

“Unfortunately, the Finance Ministry and National Insurance Institute came unprepared, as usual,” Katz stated. “We will not have another meeting until we get all of the data that will clarify for us whether this will help housewives or not.”

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