On Monday evening, the government’s pension safety net was approved and it will apply to people over 57, for pension plans not exceeding NIS 1.5 million.
Payouts for pensions up to NIS 1.25 will pay up to NIS 600,000 and those up to NIS 1.5 million will receive a maximum of NIS 750,000. This is determined as per the status on November 30th, without any interest, but there will be linkage to the monthly index.
Shraga Brosch of the Israel Manufacturers Association attacked the government for ignoring the manufactures, who are sliding quickly due to the economic crisis, but Finance Minister Bar-On responded by calling him a “panic artist,” rather than respond to the context of his comments.
While Prime Minister Ehud Olmert intervened and pushed his will on Finance Minister Roni Bar-On, the safety net is a limited one, one that will only assist a targeted population of the economy, somewhat of a compromise by both sides. Bar-On did not want any safety net at present. Olmert stated the people cannot be abandoned and the government is compelled to bail out the economy.
Olmert added he enjoys the support of Bank of Israel Governor Prof. Stanley Fischer, who feels it is a wise step.
While the safety net is a major step in the direction sought by Histadrut National Labor Federation leader Ofir Eini, he is not yet willing to call off the planned general sector strike and talks towards averting the strike are scheduled to continue later in the week.
(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)