A Safety Net Full of Holes: Changing Policy Towards Israel’s Social Assistance Program
Author: Johnny Gal, Netta Achdut Policy Research

The social welfare system is a central component in the welfare state and all advanced Western countries.

Despite the existence of social welfare programs that address the specific needs of various populations – the unemployed, people with disabilities, the elderly or families with children – every welfare state is aware that there are individuals and families who suffer from social and economic insecurity on a temporary or long-term basis.  These people may not be served by other social programs that serve clearly delineated populations, or their needs may not be sufficiently covered by those programs. The welfare state has devised a social security net to help these particular people.

This paper focuses on the factors that led to the abrupt “about face” in social policy that took place in the years 2002-2004. While the country faced a severe economic and security crisis, its attempts to reduce government spending included reducing social services spending. Factors that led to this policy change as well as implications of the change are examined.

This paper appears as a chapter in the book Formulating Social Policy in Israel, Uri Aviram, Johnny Gal and Yosef Katan (editors).

This publication is in Hebrew only.

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