ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 149

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Barkat presents rival compensation plan for war-affected businesses

Sharon Wrobel is a tech reporter for The Times of Israel.

Economy Minister Nir Barkat seen during a meeting with heads of the business sector in Israel in Tel Aviv, October 23, 2023.  (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)
Economy Minister Nir Barkat seen during a meeting with heads of the business sector in Israel in Tel Aviv, October 23, 2023. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

Economy Minister Nir Barkat presents his own compensation plan to help businesses whose revenues have been dented during the war with the Hamas terror group.

Barkat’s proposal directly challenges the emergency aid plan presented by Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich last week, which has come under scrutiny in recent days by regional council heads of communities in the south as well as some business representatives.

Speaking at a Knesset Economy Committee meeting, Barkat calls for expanding the geographic areas that are entitled to the emergency aid package. According to the Finance Ministry’s outline, businesses throughout the country that have been hurt during the ongoing war will receive compensation for loss of income, but only businesses within seven kilometers (four miles) of the Gaza border will be entitled to full compensation for war damages.

Barkat says his plan would enable every business to employ part-time workers. On days an employee can’t work, the government would compensate businesses at a rate of 70%.

“Our goal is for businesses to survive during the war and at the same time to encourage the continuity of employment of workers,” says Barkat.

Barkat’s plan also proposes to increase the amount of grants for fixed expenses presented in the Treasury’s outline for businesses that have suffered losses.

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