ACRI: Cuts in Child Allowances Puts Families at Risk


The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) has sent an urgent letter to the Prime Minister, Finance Minister Yair Lapid and Welfare Minister Meir Cohen urging them not to cut child allowances without conducting a comprehensive review support and allowances programs in order to adapt them to recipients’ real needs



Attorney Maskit Bendel, Director of the Welfare and Life in Dignity Project at ACRI, warned in the letter that the budget cuts will put 40,000 – 50,000 children below the poverty line. This in addition to the harm it will cause to the 860,000 children that already live in poverty. The cuts will have far-reaching effects on these children’s health and education and on their ability to escape the cycle of poverty. They are also contrary to Israel’s obligations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which requires Israel to ensure that the developmental needs of each and every child are met so as to provide them with a life with dignity.


In recent years, child allowances have become a major source of support for families living in poverty. This is partly due to the fact that the existing benefits for the poor in Israel do not adequately meet their most basic needs. ACRI calls on the government to establish a professional mechanism to comprehensively evaluate the current system of supports and benefits to determine their appropriate criteria and scope. We must examine whether the allowances meet the system’s goals, their importance for beneficiaries, the amounts expended relative to the intended cause, possible alternatives and more. Such an examination has never been conducted in Israel, and the system of allowances has developed almost arbitrarily, based on irrelevant criteria vis-à-vis the recipients of these benefits.


According to Attorney Bendel, “the cut in child allowances will critically harm almost one million children living in poverty. The cut is presented as though it encourages people to obtain employment, but it will severely affect families where both parents work, and in particular the children in those families. If the government wants to conduct a reevaluation of the system of benefits, its objectives and utility, then it should go ahead and do so. But without such a thorough examination, the government cannot cut aid for families in poverty.”



Cuts in Child AllowancesFacts

  • Approximately 860,900 children live in poverty in Israel. A cut in benefits is expected to add another 40-50,000 children to this number.
  • A family with two children will lose NIS 88 per month as a result of this cut; a family with four children will lose NIS 264; a family with six children will lose NIS 920.
  • Families with four children or more, where both parents work full time earning minimum wage, will fall below the poverty line as a result of the cuts.
  • 64% of working-age, impoverished families in Israel are families in which at least one parent is employed.
  • 40% of children in Israel are defined as being at risk of poverty compared with an average of 20% in OECD countries.
  • 42% of families with three or more children dependent on their parents are at high risk of poverty.


Related Material

To read the letter (in Hebrew), click here.

  • Print
  • email
  • RSS
  • Tumblr
  • Reddit
  • Twitter
  • Facebook

Categories: Child Rights, Social and Economic Rights, The Right to Equality, Welfare

Tags: |

Comments are closed.