Netanyahu, Gantz to meet on controversial aid package Tuesday

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Benny Gantz, and several other ministers will meet tomorrow to discuss the finance minister’s proposal for a new aid package to businesses affected by the pandemic.

Gantz has attacked the plan as “vote-buying” by the prime minister and his party, and says it must be far more selective than it currently is regarding who receives fresh stipends.

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit has also warned that some aspects of the plan cannot be executed during an election campaign, as they could be seen as payments to voters.

Gantz ally Orit Farkash-Hacohen, the tourism minister, tells Ynet that her party will consider the proposal. “If the plan has aspects that help businesses and citizens and are not propaganda — we’ll agree to them,” she says.

Finance Minister Israel Katz holds a press conference at the Finance Ministry in Jerusalem on July 1, 2020. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

The plan currently sees every citizen earning less than NIS 13,050 ($4,000) of gross income a month get a handout of NIS 750 ($230). Parents in that same group will get another stipend of NIS 500 ($154) per child, up to five children.

It also sees businesses with a turnover of NIS 18,000 to NIS 300,000 a year who have lost income with get stipends of between NIS 8,000 and 15,000. Businesses with a turnover over NIS 300,000 will be around NIS 30,000.

Employers will also get benefits to encourage bringing furloughed employees back to work.

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