750 shekels to every citizen:
Netanyahu and Yisrael Katz present 'massive' COVID economic stimulus plan

PM and Finance Minister unveil 'massive' nine-step economic stimulus plan, with bailouts for small businesses and aid to the unemployed.

David Rosenberg ,

Haim Zach/GPO

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud) presented a major economic stimulus plan Sunday evening aimed at strengthening small and medium sized businesses and offering aid for workers who have lost their jobs as a result of government restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic.

“We are unveiling today a nine-step economic stimulus plan – it’s massive,” said Netanyahu. “I believe that the overwhelming majority of the government and Knesset will back this plan in order to stabilize businesses and the self-employed in Israel. We will take care of every citizen.”

“We will bring the plan to a vote in the government, and I expect that a supermajority of ministers and MKs will back it. They don’t want to hurt the incomes of Israeli citizens.”

“But if the plan won’t be approved, it will get pushed off for many months; citizens won’t be able to wait.”

Under the plan presented by Netanyahu and Katz, the government will give small businesses stimulus payments ranging between 8,000 ($2,444) to 15,000 shekels ($4,584), with larger businesses receiving stimulus payments of 30,000 shekels ($9,168).

In addition, citizens will receive cash payments, with the bottom seventy percent of income recipients eligible for the stimulus payments.

The direct payments will total 750 shekels per adult, 500 shekels per child for the first four children, with an additional 300 shekels per child for every additional child in a family.

Furthermore, the plan calls for special payments intended to encourage the unemployed to return to work.

The government will also set aside 500 million shekels for one-time cash payments to the disabled.

In response to the plan’s unveiling Sunday, the Blue and White party issued a statement, accusing Netanyahu of bluffing on the plan, saying he has no intention of bringing it to fruition.

“Neither the government nor senior Finance Ministry officials have seen the details of the plan yet, and for one reason: there aren’t any [details].”

“Bibi is scheming; he doesn’t plan to make any of this actually happen. If is very sad that Netanyahu is again making promises he won’t keep, and will abandon hundreds of thousands of Israelis who are waiting for help. After the election, we will ensure that a government is formed with honest people who will do everything they can to improve the economy and end the divisions in the country.”