Employment Grant Program for the Arab Population
The employment grant, or “negative income tax”, is given to anyone who is considered low-income in order to improve the economic state of poor families and encourage low-income employees to persist in entering the workforce. Today (27.10.2020), we appealed to the Minister of Finance and the Tax Authority demanding to make the employment grant accessible to the Arab population and increase its implementation among this group.
Our appeal was made in light of claims made by the State Comptroller, both in the 2015 report and one from last week, which pointed to the gaps in implementing this grant among the Arab population in comparison to the rest of the population, alongside failures to make information about it accessible to this group. In the appeal, Attorney Gadeer Nicola, Director of ACRI’s Arab Minority Rights Unit, details steps that may be taken in order to increase the rate of implementation among eligible Arabs, including:
● Making accessible an Arabic version of all relevant Hebrew information regarding the employment grant program, including the simulator for checking eligibility for the employment grant and site for checking the status of the claim.
● Increasing campaigns and advertisements in Arabic on the news and social media platforms regarding the employment grant and ways to check eligibility and file a claim.
● Examining the performance of the Israel Post regarding the deliverance of Tax Authority letters to those who are eligible for the grant within the Arab population, especially in Bedouin settlements in the Negev.
● Revoking the general disqualification for eligibility to the grant for workers who are related to employers, and instead utilize an individual assessment for each case.
● Assessing the reasons for low implementation of the employment grant among the Arab population by collecting and analyzing data and conducting surveys among those eligible.