The Knesset Labor and Welfare Committee will hold a discussion and preparation today for the first reading of a number of bills dealing with: the establishment of a national authority for the struggle against poverty. The main bill was initiated by MK Yinon Azoulay (Shas), and it was submitted in the previous Knesset when Shas was in opposition, and on which the election campaign of the ultra-Orthodox party was based.
Minister of Social Affairs and Social Security, Yaakov Margi, will present his ministry's position that an advisory authority should be established along with the promotion of a national government program to eradicate poverty. The Authority, according to Margi's position, will advise the government on legislative and budgetary issues, will have the authority to lead and coordinate unified government policy, it will be able to promote and integrate inter-ministerial and inter-sectoral actions, it will promote government decisions and a national program for the eradication of poverty, and it will deal with research, information and development of methods of action.
The War on the Poverty Rate (Archive), photo: Dudu Greenspan
The budget that will be allocated for the establishment of the authority is NIS 5 million in 2023, and another NIS 10 million in 2024 – a total of NIS 15 million for the next two years just for the purpose of establishing it and creating infrastructure for starting work.
Originally, the Authority was intended to be established in the Ministry for the Development of the Periphery, the Negev and the Galilee, but since Shas no longer controls this ministry, it intends to demand that the Authority operate under the Ministry of Social Affairs. It will be interesting to see whether the Negev and Galilee Ministry will agree to the request or insist on keeping the PA under their authority.
The initiative was part of the election campaign (archive), photo: Gil Eliyahu - Genie
At a preparatory meeting in the Welfare Minister's office, ahead of the discussion in the Knesset Labor and Welfare Committee, Minister Margi was presented with data from the National Insurance Institute's Dimensions of Poverty and Inequality Report, which was published at the beginning of the year, which showed that in 2021, the depth of poverty increased from 2020.38% to 7.39% compared to 4.
In 2021, there was an increase in the number of people living in poverty in Israel. While in 2020 there were 877 million and 594,819 poor citizens living in Israel, including 990,192 children and 416,2021 senior citizens, in 954 there were 776 million and 853,823 poor citizens living in Israel, including 212,324 children and <>,<> senior citizens.
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