Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
The government on Sunday approved a plan by Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon to facilitate the receipt of work allotments for single parent families, people with disabilities and independent workers.
The plan, estimated to cost NIS 130 million, will see an additional 55,000 people eligible for work grants.
The allotments, that were formulated based on research conducted by the Tax Authority and in collaboration with NGO Yedid – The Association for Community Empowerment, are part of a policy to encourage employment and offer support for low-income workers.
“The government approved another step that helps populations that are interested in joining the workforce and need the help of the state. This step is part of a line of reforms that were developed to minimize the social gaps and encourage integration into the workforce,” Kahlon said on Sunday.
The proposed changes will apply to grants payable with respect to income from employment or business earned from 2016 onward.
As such, the plan calls for an increase in the range of the average monthly income that entitles grants to working single parents.
According to the new parameters, a single working parent with up to two children who earns between NIS 1,270 and NIS 9,420 a month (instead of NIS 2,060 to NIS 6,220) will be eligible for a work allotment. A single parent with three or more children will now have to earn between NIS 1,270 and NIS 11,500 (instead of NIS 2,060 to NIS 6,820) to be eligible.
In addition, the plan seeks to equalize the eligibility for receiving work allotments for the self-employed population to those of employees, so that they will receive the allotments at the same time. To date, self-employed workers received work grants spread over four years and in the fifth year the remaining sum that was not offset during the tax years was transferred.
Kahlon’s plan also proposed that people qualified to receive work allotments for amounts lower than NIS 800 will receive the bonus in one payment at the first available date as set by law and not spread out over time.
Head of Yesh Atid Yair Lapid welcomed the government decision and praised the finance minister on the initiative.
“I praise Finance Minister Kahlon on completing this important step. The state must allow and help each person who can go out to work and provide for his family with dignity to exercise this option,” he said.
“This is right for the self-employed public, people with disabilities and of course single mothers.
This is a welcome move and we will support it when it reaches the Knesset,” he said.
Despite the praise, Yesh Atid issued a statement adding that the move was “not complete” and called on Kahlon to provide work allotments retroactively also for the year 2015.