Implementation of the Elalouf Committee Recommendations
Author: John Gal and Shavit Madhala-Brik
November 21, 2016
It has been two years since the Committee for the War Against Poverty submitted its recommendations. This brief examines the implementation of those recommendations and presents in detail their effects on expenditure.
The Committee for the War Against Poverty in Israel (the Elalouf Committee) was established in November 2013 at the initiative of the Minister of Social Affairs and Social Services, MK Meir Cohen. The Committee, headed by MK Elie Elalouf, sought to formulate a comprehensive, long-term plan to alleviate the economic distress affecting a substantial portion of the Israeli public, and to address the country’s worsening levels of inequality. The Committee represented a unique effort to examine Israel’s poverty problem in a comprehensive manner, to propose clear objectives for dealing with it, and to draw up concrete recommendations for attaining those objectives. No attempt of this kind had been made since the early 1970s, when the Prime Minister’s Commission on Children and Youth in Distress set the tone for Israel’s welfare state. Developments in welfare policy since that time, widening social gaps and a large increase in the incidence of poverty underscored the need for a new and broad-based approach if the situation is to change. Accordingly, the Committee for the War Against Poverty set ambitious goals, among them a drastic decline in Israeli poverty figures within a decade. The aim was to bring Israeli poverty rates down to the OECD average – i.e., a 50% drop in the poverty rate, from one-fifth to one-tenth of Israeli families.