Jul 23, 2020

government finding ways to not give the stimulus package

[If you live in Israel] You are probably still waiting for the stimulus money to go into your bank account. Like so many others, every couple of days you are probably wondering why you haven't gotten it yet and you are probably asking why you didn't qualify or what you have to do to get it.

First of all, just because Netanyahu announced it last week and said it would be immediate and for everyone and would avoid bureaucracy, does not make it true. The benefit to Netanyahu was immediate as everyone is thankful he gave them money, without actually giving it. Maybe one day he will, maybe he won't, but either way it is similar to the expression that you can only make a first impression once. 

Besides for that, second of all, Netanyahu's announcement notwithstanding, the entire stimulus payout is held up in debates as to how it should be given, how much should be give, to whom it should be given, and probably a lot more.  

The news media is now reporting that while the Knesset committees continue to try to formulate the algorithm of who should get, how much, and how, the current model has it with only some minor changes to Netanyahu's original announcement. 

the most major of the changes, at this point, seems to be that the payout will not be automatic. People will need to apply, likely through Bituach Leumi (including via a simple online form), for the stimulus grant.

Why apply for it, rather than just have the government give it out?

It seems there is a problem that many people have never given the government and Bituach Leumi their bank information, so the government, through Bituach Leumui, has no way to automatically funnel the money to everyone.

I don't know how that is possible. Almost everyone in Israel has regular contact with Bituach Leumi making payments and getting some sort of payment (eg child payments, old-age, pensions, maternity, illness, workmen's compensation, unemployment, etc). It seems that this is largely young singles who have not yet started working and might have almost no contact with Bituach Leumi except for paying the quarterly payments. However it happens, it seems that Bituach Leumi does not have the bank information of some people.

So of course, instead of paying out the stimulus to everyone possible and those who miss out due to incomplete records applying for it with the missing information, they will just make everyone apply for it instead. This way, plenty of people won't know that they need to apply, or won't remember to apply, or won't know how to apply, or can't be bothered to apply, or will think they applied but the form did not get sent in correctly, and won't get the money promised to them.

Chelm. Or maybe government brilliance. They found a way to win over the public and save a ton of money at the same time. 

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