Our definition of government social services includes government ministries’ activities in social spheres as well as in-cash benefits paid by the National Insurance Institute, one of the most important components of the government social-service system. The largest spheres of social-service activity are education and health, along with National Insurance Allowances, foremost old-age pensions and child benefits. Areas of secondary magnitude in financial terms are immigrant integration, housing, employment, and personal social services. Although this report focuses mainly on analyzing government expenditure for social services, as a preface we briefly review the economic background amidst which the state budget is determined.
This paper appears as a chapter in the Center’s annual publication, Israel’s Social Services 1999-2000, Yaakov Kop (editor).