MKs unanimously back legislation to double soldiers’ grants

Panel also OKs Barak’s bill to pay IDF widows NIS 100,000.

MK Moshe Matalon 311 (photo credit: Courtesy of Knesset)
MK Moshe Matalon 311
(photo credit: Courtesy of Knesset)
The Ministerial Committee on Legislation approved two IDF-related bills on Sunday – one that would more than double the funds given to soldiers who complete their mandatory service, and another providing a NIS 100,000 grant to IDF widows.
The first bill, proposed by MK Moshe Matalon (Israel Beiteinu), seeks to gradually increase the grant that combat soldiers receive upon completing three years of mandatory IDF service, from the current NIS 9,300 to NIS 20,000 by 2016.
The ministers unanimously voted in favor of the initiative, which also states that grants given to all other soldiers and to those who complete national service will increase by the same proportion as the combat soldiers’ grant.
“This is good news for all IDF soldiers,” Matalon said.
“By approving this bill, the state is sending a clear message that it seeks to reward and respect those who give their time to serve the state.”
His bill will be brought to a preliminary vote in the Knesset on Wednesday. Should it pass, it will have to undergo three more readings before it becomes a law.
In addition, a bill proposed by Defense Minister Ehud Barak that would grant NIS 100,000 to every IDF widow is set to undergo an accelerated legislation process.
If the bill passes, the spouse of any soldier who was killed while doing IDF reserve duty between 1948 and 1998 will receive the one-time grant in two payments.
Barak’s bill will be brought for its first reading in the Knesset on Monday evening, and is expected to be legislated within the week.
“This is a moral requirement,” the defense minister said of his initiative. He also thanked Culture and Sport Minister Limor Livnat for helping promote his bill and reaching an agreement with bereaved families about its details.