Bar-On Presents Plan for Increased Aid to Shoah Survivors

Thousands of survivors who don't receive stipends will from now on be eligible to monthly NIS 1,000.

Finance Minister Roni Bar-On on Thursday presented to the cabinet a bill for increasing aid to Holocaust survivors and stipends for needy elderly who have no source of income.

The bill goes to the ministerial committee for legislative affairs on Sunday, and once approved there, will be sent to the Knesset plenum for voting.

Under the proposed legislation, some 9,000 survivors of concentration camps, ghettos and labor camps who do not receive a monthly stipend from Israel, Germany or another country will from now on be eligible for a monthly allowance of NIS 1,000.

They, along with survivors who previously received a monthly stipend, will also get a series of other benefits, including an exemption from the television tax, discount on municipal property taxes, and seven paid vacation days a year.

Needy survivors will get in addition an annual grant of NIS 4,000. The projected cost for the aid package to Holocaust survivors is half-a-billion shekels per year.

The bill also proposes increasing the guaranteed income allowances paid to elderly people on a differential basis, according to age, as of April 1.

Bar-On also plans shortly to bring to a Knesset vote legislative amendments to the National Insurance Law and Guaranteed Income Law - at a total cost of a billion shekels - aimed at increasing increase old-age stipends and an additional raise in guaranteed income allowances. Elderly individuals will receive a maximum increase of between NIS 150-500 a month, depending on their age and financial situation.