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February 07, 1992 - Image 39

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1992-02-07

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

I NEWS I

Poverty Rate
Shoots Up

Tel Aviv (JTA) —
Although final figures are
not yet in for 1991, a report
released this week shows
that the number of poverty-
stricken people in Israel is
up considerably and is still
climbing.
The number of Israelis liv-
ing below the poverty line in
1990 reached 537,700, rep-
resenting 16.9 percent of the
population, according to the
annual report of the Nation-
al Insurance Institute.
The figure was up from the
14.6 percent of the previous
year and continued to in-
crease through 1991, for
which final figures are not
yet available.
The report's release caused
quite a stir here and
prompted independent
Knesset member Charlie
Biton, a former member of
the Hadash Communist bloc,
to introduce a motion of no
confidence in the govern-
ment. He urged all opposi-
tion parties to support it.
The report for fiscal 1990
showed a sharp rise in the
number of impoverished
children. Nearly a quarter of
a million children, repre-
senting 22.3 percent of all
Israeli children, were
registered as impoverished,
up from 18.6 percent in
1989.
Among families, 14.3 per-
cent were under the poverty
line in 1990, up from 12.8
percent in the previous year.
Yossi Tamir, the In-
surance Institute's deputy
director general for research
and planning, told reporters
that although the institute
had not yet analyzed the
data for 1991, the poverty
situation probably de-
teriorated still further last
year.
The main factors leading
to higher poverty levels in
1990 were an erosion in real
wages and rising
unemployment. Both trends
continued in 1991.
The official poverty line
currently stands at about
$280 in monthly income for
an individual, $460 for a
couple and $740 for a family
with two children.
According to an interna-
tional survey conducted last
year that compared poverty
levels in the United States,
Canada, Sweden, Germany,
England and Israel in 1986-
87, only the United States
had a higher percentage rate
of population under the pov-
erty line than Israel.

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THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

39

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