During the year 2003, 1.426 million people in Israel, which represent 22.4% of the population,
lived below the poverty line, in comparison with 1.3 million the previous year, the annual
poverty report published by the National Insurance Institute (NII) states.

Over 360,000 families are defined as poor. The number of poor children rose from 618,000 in 2002
to 652,000 the following year.

According to NII data, an average salary intake of a poor family with only one supporter stands at
NIS 1,736 per month, while with two providers it reaches a low of NIS 2,777 a month.

The difference between the average salary in Israel and the poverty line rose from 29.7% in 2002
to 30.5% in 2003.

In addition, the number of elderly people under the poverty line increased to 22.8% of
the elderly population.

In total, nearly 119,000 people went under the poverty line during 2003.
NII Director Dr. Yigal Ben Shalom strongly criticized Israel’s financial policy and
the man who stands behind it - Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“In my opinion, the finance minister has an economic vision that completely lacks any social elements.
I believe there is no economy without society. Netanyahu must raise pensions”.