August War Damages Deal Close

The compensation agreement for employers and workers in northern Israel for August is expected to be signed today or tomorrow. The agreement will provide higher war damages than the plan for July, as, in addition to worker absenteeism, it will cover lost proceeds. An expected 71,000 small businesses with annual turnover of up to NIS 1.5 million will receive prompt compensation for 65 percent of the difference between revenues in August 2006 and August 2005 ("green path").

Businesses with annual revenues of NIS 1.5 million to NIS 10 million will be paid 55 percent of the difference in sales, while larger business with up to NIS 30 million in sales will receive 45 percent.

Business owners will have the option to choose a "red path," which could take two years or more to complete. They will present tax assessors with their books and an exact calculation of war-related losses will be conducted by authorities. These business owners will receive 100 percent compensation for losses.

Finance Minister Abraham Hirchson hopes to sign the accord today so it can be submitted to the Knesset Finance Committee, which is meeting tomorrow. Histadrut labor federation chair Ofer Eini also strives for a quick agreement, so it can be implemented before August salaries are due to be paid on Friday.