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Netanyahu’s ‘cash for all Israelis’ plan receives lukewarm reception from FM & central bank head

Netanyahu’s ‘cash for all Israelis’ plan receives lukewarm reception from FM & central bank head

PM Benjamin Netanyahu got a lukewarm reception on Thursday for his plan to grant money to all Israelis to kickstart the economy. He announced the six-billion-shekel ($1.75 billion) package on Wednesday, amid public anger over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

The payments of 750 shekels for individuals and up to 3,000 shekels for families, Netanyahu said, would boost consumer spending and employment. The plan requires cabinet approval.

Bank of Israel Governor Amir Yaron and Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi of the centrist Blue and White party, which has partnered with Netanyahu’s Likud in the government, said the money should instead be targeted at the poorest citizens, Reuters reports.

Yaron had supported a previous 100-billion-shekel ($29 billion) stimulus package and a second one announced last week. Unemployment soared to 27 percent after a partial lockdown in March but is now running at 21 percent.