COVID Grants Lifted Only 1 of 50 Self-employed Israelis Above Poverty Line

Some 25,000 self-employed people and their family members fell into poverty in Israel in 2020, advocacy group reports

נתנאל גאמס
Netanel Gamss
Demonstration against lack of financial compensation during pandemic, in Tel Aviv.
Demonstration against lack of financial compensation during pandemic, in Tel Aviv.Credit: Tomer Appelbaum
נתנאל גאמס
Netanel Gamss

The various government aid plans rolled out during the coronavirus pandemic managed to lift only 1.8% of self-employed Israelis over the poverty line in 2020, according to an analysis by Dr. Roby Nathanson, economist at the Lahav organization, which represents Israel’s self-employed and small businesses.

The government’s aid for the self-employed was less effective than its aid for salaried workers, and it contributed less toward keeping them from falling into poverty, Nathanson found.

Everybody wants their vote. But what do Israeli-Arab voters want? LISTEN to our podcastCredit: Everybody wants their vote. But what do Israeli-Arab voters want? LISTEN to our podcast

His analysis was based on the National Insurance Institute’s poverty report published last week.

The report found that the self-employed were particularly hard hit, and were the only group with higher poverty rates. The report examined people of working age, including those who are unemployed, and people of pension age.

Some 25,000 self-employed people and their family members fell into poverty in 2020. Some 14.5% families whose wage-earner is self-employed were living in poverty last year, versus 12.8% in 2018 and 2019.

Attorney Roy Cohen, president of Lahav, says the analysis shows what the self-employed have been yelling for the past year.

“These numbers are likely to grow dramatically soon, as anyone who still hasn’t managed to lift their head above the water will likely start drowning over the next few months, as the entire economy remains shut,” he said.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

Subscribe today and save 40%

Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

Crowds at Israel's Ben-Gurion International Airport, in April.

U.S. Official: West Bank Entry for Palestinian Americans Unrelated to Israeli Visa Waivers

Haaretz spoke with several people who said they had fled Ukraine, arrived in Israel,  and were asked to undergo DNA tests in order to establish paternity.

'My Jewish Grandmother Has a Number on Her Arm, Why Does Israel Greet Me This Way?'

FILE PHOTO: A Star of David hangs from a fence outside the dormant landmark Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh's Squirrel Hill neighborhood in 2021.

American Judaism Is in Decline. That's Great News for American Jews

People taking part in the annual "March of the Living" to commemorate the Holocaust, between the former death camps of Auschwitz and Birkenau in Oswiecim, Poland, four years ago.

It’s Not Just the Holocaust. Israel Is Failing to Teach the History of the Jews

 A Jewish cemetery in Warsaw, Poland.

Israel and Poland Fight Over History, Truth - and Israeli Students

A collage of the Bentwich family throughout the generations.

Unique Burial Plot in Jerusalem Tells Story of Extraordinary Jewish Dynasty