Securing the Future: A Savings Plan for Every Child
The proposed law is a simple and efficient way to ensure that all Israeli children will have a personal savings plan from birth. With the initial sum being made by the government upon the birth of the child, additional deposits will be taken from a portion of the monthly National Insurance (Social Security) Payments currently allocated to all children and the rest from individual deposits made by parents, grandparents, and other relatives and friends, and of course, by the children themselves.
On top of these sums, the government will match each private deposit with an identical deposit up to a pre-determined maximum to be established by the law. In order to minimize socio-economic gaps, government deposits will be made progressively for low income families with these families receiving relatively higher amounts. The bank account will be released to the child on their 18th or 21st birthday (to be determined) and they will be encouraged to use the potentially tens of thousands of shekels to pay for higher education, professional training, an apartment, or opening business.
Popular Support for the Proposed Bill
During the next few months members of YEDID together with MK Herzog and other MKs who support the bill will travel to many communities throughout Israel to recruit support for the proposed law. Speaking at the launch, MK Herzog commented: “This is the best way to break trans-generational poverty. The proposed law is not designed to damage existing child allowances, but to enable a small percentage of the allowance to change the lives of Israel’s future generations... A wide segment of the population supports the initiative. This is a genuine example of social justice in action.”
There were a number of TV personalities and actors at the launch event. Popular film and television actor, Amos Tamam spoke from personal experience in support of the bill: “I grew up in Ramla in a family with six kids and luckily my parents helped me realize my dream to be an actor and financed my acting studies. The initiative sounds very simple and we must get it passed… I am willing to help and am joining the campaign to promote the initiative and the law.”
Single mother, Ruchama Stern explained the bills significance from her perspective: “It is important for me to speak as a single mother and sole supporter of my family. As a parent, I have two main responsibilities to my family – emotional support and financial support... Everyone wants to give their children the right environment in which to grow up. This initiative provides me with the opportunity to give my children an equal start.”
Ran Melamed, Deputy Director of YEDID presented data from a survey conducted for YEDID by the "Maagar Mochot" Research Institute. The survey states that more than half (57%) of Israeli families claim they do not currently save at all for their children, 12% save occasionally and only 28% save regularly. Of those who save regularly, the average monthly deposit is $96. Although deposits in the Arab sector are generally lower ($52), a higher than average percentage (42%) of Arabs do save regularly for their children. In the immigrant community, a lowly 11% save regularly.
Two thirds of the parents of young children surveyed said they would approve of the government depositing a portion of their monthly child allowance into the new bank account. A huge 92% of everyone surveyed agreed that with the government matching their own savings, they would be able to increase the amount of money they put aside for their children for a secure future.