Mother changing baby diaper.
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)
The Ministerial Committee for Legislation approved a plan on Sunday to reduce poverty among single parent families.
“The government will approve today a reform that will provide incentives for single mothers to go out and work, to increase their hours of employment, and to receive higher wages,” said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“The government must reduce the gaps and this is one of the most important steps to do so. I congratulate Minister Haim Katz, the welfare and social services minister, on this important social step – its time has come,” he said.
As part of the plan, the maximum income requirement for receiving additional income support and alimony will be increased.
According to a recent report from the National Insurance Institute, the poverty rate among single parent families is significantly higher than for other families – standing at 25.1 percent in 2014 – despite the fact that some 80% of single mothers were employed.
The reason for this, the report stated, was because a high percentage of single mothers were employed part-time so they would ensure that their salaries did not pass the bar of eligibility for income support.
“This is a good opportunity for thousands of single mothers to escape the poverty cycle, to enter the labor force, to decrease taxes from the 60% they pay today for every shekel above the exemption for a discount, and for the State of Israel to receive taxes that it does not receive today,” Katz told Army Radio about the initiative.
Also on Sunday, the civil service commissioner and the director of wages at the Finance Ministry approved an initiative to allow civil service employees working under a part-time “parental” job to work additional hours from home.
“The step that allows employees in parental positions to work from home will minimize the gaps in the public sector. This is an additional step that will promote women in the labor market and will help overcome gender obstacles,” Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon said.