Wed, 21 Oct 2020

JERUSALEM, Sept. 22 (Xinhua) -- The Israeli government has approved a plan to lower the salaries of parliament members, ministers and the prime minister by 10 percent, Prime Minister's office and Ministry of Finance said in a joint statement on Tuesday.

The planned salary cuts also involve other high-salary office holders such as judges, the state comptroller and the central bank's governor.

The cuts are intended to help the Israeli economy cope with the enormous deficit generated during the course of dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, according to the statement.

The Israeli government also approved a plan to expand the national economic safety net.

"The plan will enable immediate economic assistance for businesses and wage-earners who are expected to be hurt by the current nationwide lockdown," the statement said.

This safety net expansion includes the lowering of damage threshold for businesses to receive fixed expenditure grants to 25 percent, providing advances against the fixed expenditure grants, a comprehensive worker retention plan and deferring the reduction in unemployment benefits.

According to the statement, the overall cost of the plan to expand the national economic safety net is estimated at 10.5 billion new shekels (3 billion U.S. dollars).

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