Following heated debate, vote to raise allotments for the disabled delayed

Labor and Social Services Minister Haim Katz attended the discussion, along with Avi Nissenkoren, head of the Histadrut, to present legislation that would cement increases in disability allotments.

January 17, 2018 17:51
2 minute read.
MK Haim Katz (Likud)

MK Haim Katz (Likud) 311. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


Following a heated debate, the Knesset Labor, Welfare and Health Committee failed on Wednesday to vote on a proposed bill that would increase allotments for the disabled.

Labor and Social Services Minister Haim Katz (Likud) attended the discussion, along with Histadrut labor federation chairman Avi Nissenkorn, to present legislation that would cement increases in disability allotments.

His proposed bill sought to link the allotments to the average wage in the economy over the course of four payments stretching through 2021. Additionally, the bill called to minimize the “disregard,” ignoring a person’s income in order to enable receipt of a pension.

“There is a division in the government,” said Katz. “The Finance Ministry is used to agreeing to one thing and doing another. It was said that funds were transferred to my ministry for increased disability allotments, but nothing was transferred.

If there is no linkage to the average wage in the economy, then I will not be here.”

Katz’s legislation was drawn up based upon an agreement signed last year in September in which the government approved a NIS 4.2 billion increase in disability benefits over the next four years.

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon (Kulanu) and Katz announced the allocation of NIS 2b. to increase disability allotments beginning this year, reflecting the first two payments.

However in the Knesset discussion, Shai Babad, the director-general of the Finance Ministry, emphasized that the bill would not legislate the inclusion of the third and fourth payments, which would have to be requested as part of the 2020-2021 budget at a future date.

Babad alluded to the “numerator” – a clause which states that the government cannot commit to the allocation of funds years in advance without a clear budgetary source.

“This is because we don’t know what the budget will look like in these years,” explained Babad. “If you want to decide on something else, you will have to return to the government and ask for it.”

The discussion got heated as Nissenkorn and Katz accused Babad and the Finance Ministry of “cheating” and reneging on their promises.

Babad shot back that Katz had voted on the budget last week and knew that this was the case.

MK Ilan Gilon (Meretz), who has been actively involved in campaigning on behalf of the disabled, said: “The Israeli government is a liar. Because of ego wars they brought forth half the work, without linkage [to the average wage] and with a reduced ‘disregard.’ This is total fraud. Everything needs to be written in law because I do not believe you.”

At the end of the discussion, committee head MK Eli Alalouf (Kulanu) gave assurances that the allotments would be linked to the average wage and the full sum of the funds would be allocated.

“The committee and MKs are not a rubber stamp of anyone, we have the authority to change and fix legislation presented before us,” he said.

He called for a second discussion on the issue set for next week.

Following the discussion, the Finance Ministry released a statement and said it wanted to clarify that “the agreement to raise disability allotments to the amount of NIS 4.2b. will be fully met.”

Related Content

Ben-Gurion Airport's Terminal 3 arrivals hall
June 18, 2019
West Bank leaders join call to stop McDonald's tender at Ben-Gurion


Cookie Settings