Last week’s data by the Central Bureau of Statistics is now complemented by an in-depth analysis titled ‘A picture of the nation’ by the Taub Center for Social Policy Studies, edited by Avi Weiss. The well-written report is not only looking behind the scenes of mere data but drawing conclusions and providing outlooks.
The author points out that while payments to the elderly increased, child allowances decreased. This affects large families who also suffer more from indirect taxes, such as VAT. Therefore it is no surprise that Israel’s poverty rate after accounting for taxes and transfers is almost twice as high as the OECD average. This is particularly true for elderly people in relation to disposable income. “Israel has one of the highest poverty rates in the developed world, with 21% of the elderly living below the poverty line,” writes the author. One reason for the elderlies’ financial situation were different pension plans that were in force a few decades ago.
However, young and old are equally affected by the sharp increase in housing prices and food. While for the young it is an option to stay with their parents until their late 20s to balance out the sharp increase in housing and rental prices since 2007 despite no real wage growth since 2000 until now, the elderly population doesn’t have much to fall back on.