As MKs and ministers prepared to get a pay hike, Labor chairwoman Shelly
Yacimovich on Monday demanded an end to their automatic annual
“While senior government officials’ pay increases automatically,
most of the public’s salary has remained low and even decreased,” Yacimovich
said. “Increasing [MKs’ and ministers’] salary according to increases in the
national average salary is a privilege that the vast majority of the public does
The prime minister and other ministers’ salaries increase
according to the consumer price index. The index for 2012 will be determined on
January 15, but is estimated at 1.4 percent.
The pay of MKs, judges and
the president will be raised by 3%.
Following their raises, President
Shimon Peres will make NIS 53,457 per month and Prime Minister Binyamin
Netanyahu will make NIS 46,613 each month. Ministers, Bank of Israel Gov.
Stanley Fischer and State Comptroller Joseph Shapira will earn NIS 41,868 and
Knesset members will get NIS 38,296.
Yacimovich pointed out that while
senior government officials do not make as much as CEOs of publicly traded
companies, they earn much more than social workers and teachers.
representatives cannot get the feeling that they were anointed as kings. I see
no reason for their salary to be increased, when it [already] is relatively
high,” she said.
The Labor leader asked Knesset House Committee chairman
Yariv Levin (Likud) to call a meeting to discuss MKs’ salaries and for Knesset
Finance Committee chairman Moshe Gafni (United Torah Judaism) to cancel the pay
Yacimovich added that, if she leads the next government, she
will invest in creating jobs with fair pay before worrying about government
In February, the Knesset House Committee unanimously
approved a monthly increase of NIS 1,191 and a one-time payment of NIS 14,995 to
make up for a two-year salary freeze, following recommendations by a public
panel on MKs’ salaries.
At the time, Speaker Reuven Rivlin told the House
Committee that in 1996 the Knesset established the panel to determine MK
salaries, and that the committee had to accept its decisions. He added that his
opinion would be the same even if the panel had suggested lower
According to Rivlin, MKs should make enough money so as to
avoid the temptation to take bribes, and should remain “free from outside