Israel Plans Govt. Allowances for Families with Four Children

A bill to pay government allowances, ranging from six Israeli pounds per month to ten pounds, to all families with four children or more, was introduced in the Parliament here today. The measure, sponsored by the Ministry of Labor, and approved by the Cabinet’s economic committee, would go into effect November 1, and would cost the Government 7, 700, 000 pounds a year, if adopted.

The bill, amending the National Insurance Law, calls for the financing of the allowances through increased contributions that would affect, chiefly, employers and the self-employed. A total of about 100, 000 children would be covered by the new allowances.

All Israelis with families of four or more children would benefit. The assumptions underlying the proposed legislation are that the average worker is able to provide for a family with no more than three children, and that the mother of a family with more than three children is unable to supplement the family’s income, being too busy to hold a job because of the burden of caring for her children. The new benefits would go to all families eligible because of the number of children, regardless of whether the head of the family is employed or unemployed, and regardless of whether the family is rich or poor.

The bill is quite certain to pass Parliament, although there may be criticism levelled against the Government for presenting the bill now, on the eve of national elections, If enacted, increased payments to the Insurance Fund would go into effect in October, so that the new allowances would be paid beginning November 1. The elections are scheduled for November 17.

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