CORONAVIRUS

Jerusalemites wearing face masks for fear of coronavirus walk on Jaffa road in the City Center of Jerusalem on July 12, 2020. Israel has seen a spike of new COVID-19 cases, cabinet ministers imposed new restrictions on public gatherings in a bid to stem the rising infection rate of the coronavirus. 

Israel’s Cabinet on Sunday approved a NIS 6.5 billion ($1.9 billion) plan to grant nearly every Israeli citizen a one-time cash payment to help stimulate the country’s struggling economy, which has been hit hard by the coronavirus crisis.

The memorandum of the law approved by the Cabinet and which will be submitted to the Knesset for approval, stipulates that every Israeli will receive NIS 750 ($220), and an additional NIS 500 ($147) for each child up to the third, according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office. The money will be transferred to the parent to whom the regular child allowance is paid.

The grant will be transferred automatically to all citizens whose details are registered with the National Insurance Institute, and the NII will contact citizens whose bank account details it does not have to provide for transfer of the grant, according to the statement.

Israelis already receiving one or more of the various support payments detailed in the draft law, including for convalescent care, disability, income assurance and alimony, among others, will receive an additional NIS 750.

Those with an annual income in excess of NIS 651,000 ($191,000) will not be eligible to receive either a grant or a grant supplement.

In his opening remarks to the Cabinet session, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that if following approval by the Cabinet, the measure would be passed on to the Knesset for “lighting legislation” with the aim of getting the money to Israeli citizens “as quickly as possible.”

“We are also working on additional plans to encourage the economy and channel funds to those who have been hurt by the coronavirus. We will continue to move the wheels of the economy in order to put people back to work,” he said. JN

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