Israeli people look at the Scandinavian welfare model
In times of crisis as well as when everything runs smoothly, worries about the future are a constant of human existence; a constant that, over the last years, has generated several discussions about the viability of different welfare models.
In Israel the chosen model seems to be the Scandinavian one. This is what emerges from a research published by the Israeli Democratic Institute (IDI), the non-profit Think-and-do Thank based in Jerusalem, whose annual “Israeli Democracy Index” is a particularly renowned index providing “statistical information that gives a reliable and comprehensive picture of the quality and functioning of democracy, as well as the way it is perceived by the public”.
The research, aimed at clarifying the link between economic income and democratic satisfaction, has revealed that about 60% of the Israeli population acknowledges its own position as favourable, further emphasising the belief in the endurance of such conditions. However, responding to the question: “Would you prefer living in a country where taxes are higher but citizens receive many high-quality services for free from the state (the "Scandinavian model"), or a country where taxes are relatively low but citizens receive only a few basic services (the "American model”)?” six out of ten have opted for the Scandinavian Model. Nonetheless, highlight the analysts, in responding to a further question regarding fiscal pressure in Israel, roughly 62% of the considered sample (500 Jewish and 100 Arabs) expressed dissatisfaction with high levels of taxation.
Carried out between March the 29th and April the 3rd 2016, the IDI’s survey, presenting a margin of error of 4.1%, has revealed that, despite satisfying socio-economic conditions, worries about the future – mainly due to the continuous changes on the international arena – maintain a core position in the Israeli society. As the academic director of IDI’s Guttman Center for Public Opinion and Policy Research, Professor Tama Hermann, points out: “Insecurities about future events is not related to socio-economic conditions, which are generally regarded as positive, but rather to the fear of what is unknown”.