18 Oct 2012

One third of Israelis at risk of poverty, new data show

New figures show that poverty rate is increasing and social and economic gaps are widening in the Israeli society as it has experienced growing economic inequality over the past several years.

According to the figures released by the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) on Wednesday, 31 percent of Israelis were at risk of poverty in 2010, up from 27 percent in 2000, which indicates a greater increase than that in any country of the European Union, except Germany.

The CBS says an individual at risk of poverty is one who is in a household where per capita income is less than 60 percent of the median disposable income.

Meanwhile, the results of a survey conducted by the Israeli humanitarian aid organization, Latet, showed that some 75 percent of Israelis fear that their economy may collapse, which shows a huge increase in the figure compared with that of 2010.

The Latet poll also suggested that 78 percent of those surveyed said the Tel Aviv regime has no plans for fighting poverty and bridging the widening social gap.

The ailing economy of the Israeli regime has also taken its toll on politics.



On October 15, Israeli parliamentarians voted to dissolve the Knesset and hold snap elections on January 2013, which were initially scheduled for next October.


The decision was taken after the gridlock among different coalition partners over the passage of the 2013 austerity budget.


In recent months, Israelis have held protests against a package of sweeping austerity cuts, which the regime of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says were necessary to reduce the budget deficit and protect the economy.


“I’m asking to hold elections on Tuesday, January 22, 2013,” Netanyahu told the Knesset at the start of the debate on October 15.


Netanyahu has formed committees to address the demands of the anti-austerity protesters, but the demonstrators say no single concrete step has been taken.


Netanyahu has also ruled out the idea of spending from outside the budget for economic reforms, a response that Israeli protesters say disillusioned them.
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