Experts

Why our high tax burden produces subpar services

It all goes on perks for civil servants, whose average pay is twice that of private-sector workers.

Women hold sign reading "Enough"
Photo by: Baz Ratner/Reuters
Last Wednesday’s headline was the crowning outrage: “Israeli tax burden to rise in 2014 for fifth year in a row.” Granted, there’s nothing wrong in principle with paying higher taxes in exchange for more and better services; many Europeans willingly make that trade-off, and many Israelis might, too. But too many recent media reports have shown us what our tax shekels are really used for, and it isn’t more and better services. Rather, it’s perks for government workers.

Just two weeks ago, for instance, the Finance Ministry issued its annual report on public-sector wages for 2012, which showed that full-time public-sector workers earn an average gross monthly salary of NIS 14,109. That’s over 50% higher than the mean for the economy as a whole (NIS 9,200) and more than double the median (NIS 6,500).



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