Under fire for his handling of the pandemic outbreak in Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced a plan on Wednesday to distribute stimulus checks to every citizen.
If approved, every adult will receive 750 shekels, while families will receive additional stipends for each child, up to 3,000 for families with three or more children.
“We must get the economy running again. People are sitting at home, they aren’t consuming,” Netanyahu said during a news conference on Wednesday.
“We need to get the wheels moving and make sure nobody falls between the cracks,” he said.
Finance Minister Israel Katz said the plan is meant to support the Israeli people and will “pump funds rapidly [into the economy], without restrictions.”
“I ask politicians to put politics aside and let us pass this,” Katz said at the news conference. “Give us your trust.”
His plan was met with cynicism from other politicians.
“It would be better for helicopters to take that cash and scatter the money where they really need it instead of throwing it from the clouds,” said Welfare Minister Itzik Shmuli.
“It is a surreal decision to give money to people who don’t need it, instead of people who are crying out. The self-employed sector is bleeding. Enough with the cheap populism,” Roee Cohen, head of Lahav, Israel’s Chamber of Independent Organizations and Businesses, said. “The streets are on fire. We need real solutions.”
Knesset Member Eitan Ginzburg said his party would likely support the move, but he criticized the blanket plan of fund distribution.
“There’s no logic, neither economic nor social, in giving out the same amount of money to everyone when it’s clear that there are those who desperately need it and those who can get by without it,” Ginzburg said on Twitter.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.