The corona epidemic and tackling it led in 2020 to a severe economic crisis. The rate of poverty according to economic income has widened and deepened, and inequality has increased. Among the second to ninth deciles, the hit was higher the lower the decile. The upper decile was the only one whose average economic income even increased slightly.
An economic recovery was recorded in 2021, and at the same time much of the special support provided to help during the corona period was canceled during the year, but the National Insurance Institute’s annual poverty report published now (Wednesday) shows that estimates calculated for 2021 indicate that despite the economic recovery this year -Equality according to net income.
As for 2020, the year the report is reviewed according to Social Security data, it appears that artificially and despite the severe economic crisis that brought with it the year of the outbreak of the corona plague, poverty in Israel has decreased compared to the year before the crisis. This is due to the massive intervention of the government in the emergency retirement of the temporary safety net to citizens.
Thus, precisely in the shadow of the crisis, the percentage of poor families decreased from 21.2% in 2019 to 20.4% in 2020 and the percentage of poor elderly decreased to 13.5% from 15.8%. On the other hand, poverty among self-employed families rose from 12.6% of these families to 13.7%. Were it not for the government assistance to employees in the form of unemployment benefits in the Knesset for a year, the trend would have been the opposite and the number of poor would have risen sharply.
But 2020, in which both the indices of inequality and food insecurity were positively affected by government emergency assistance, is a year for which the good data are artificial as stated and the Social Security understands this well and looks to the future.
Thus, already in the current report, estimates were made based on partial data and their completion through simulation, in order to predict the poverty trends in 2021 that have not yet ended. These are already showing an increase in the various dimensions of poverty measured by net income. The percentages of poor people and children rose from 21.6% of the total population and 29.2% of Israeli children living in poverty in 2019 to 22.7% and 31.2%, respectively, in 2021 – That is, the dimensions of poverty in 2021 exceeded those that were in 2019, before the crisis broke out.
Economic growth in 2021 did not permeate equally to all populations, and inequality according to economic income increased. Although government policy reduced inequality by net income (by 2.4%), the 2021 reduction in social security assistance during the Corona period led to 2021 inequality in net income higher than last year (by 3.3%). .
Nitza (Kleiner) Kassir, Deputy Director of Research and Planning at the National Insurance Institute, emphasizes: “One of the main challenges facing us is the integration of the unemployed into the labor market. An investment is required in an active policy to encourage employment, in which the total expenditure increase in terms of GDP is low in Israel and is one third of the expenditure in the average of the developed countries. Along with the effort to help families achieve financial independence through the labor market, it is important to remember that there are people who cannot achieve this independence and for whom it is necessary to provide a solution through the allowance system as well. The National Insurance Institute continues its efforts to improve the social safety net, such as increasing the income support benefit that serves as the last safety net for low-income families. “Recently, the benefits of recipients of senior citizens’ benefits have been increased with the addition of income supplement, but in the working age there is room for great improvement.”
former prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, Responded to the report’s findings and wrote: “The report states that the grants and economic aid that my government led in the Corona crisis saved many Israelis from poverty and many businesses from bankruptcy. Thanks to our economic policy the percentage of poor in Israel decreased and living standards rose “The right decisions for the benefit of all Israeli citizens and that we have brought tremendous success in getting Israel out of the Corona in the best economic and health condition.”
Minister of Welfare and Social Security, Meir Cohen“The most striking thing about the poverty report is that when the state intervenes and has a welfare policy – it helps vulnerable populations and gets them out of poverty. I grew up in the periphery, I see the people every day, the stories behind the numbers that appear in the report. If there is one thing that excludes sleep from my eyes it is poverty and inequality so the report sharpens me , Benefits for the unemployed returning to the labor force, assistance to senior citizens and more, will be reflected and will, in effect, remove vulnerable populations from poverty. That is my mission. “
Source: Maariv.co.il – כלכלה בארץ by www.maariv.co.il.
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