Lawmakers should not get an automatic pay raise in January, Finance Minister
Yair Lapid said on Monday.
Lapid spoke out against a three percent raise
planned for January 1, 2014 for senior public workers, which includes MKs,
ministers, judges and the president.
“At this time, when the middle class
cannot make ends meet, it is not appropriate for elected officials to get a
raise,” Lapid said at a Yesh Atid faction meeting. “People keep saying that it
is impossible because ministers’ and judges’ salaries go up at the same rate,
but I say: Let’s change it. It isn’t written in the Torah.”
On Sunday, MK
Shimon Solomon (Yesh Atid) wrote a letter to Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein
demanding that he call a meeting of the committee on MKs’
“Elected officials are leaders, and the basic thing a meeting
must do is set a personal example,” wrote Solomon. “Raising elected officials’
salaries at this time, when only a few months ago we passed a difficult, painful
budget, is ridiculous and absurd.”
In October, Solomon proposed a bill
similar to one submitted by Yisrael Beytenu earlier this year to cut MKs’
salaries by 10%.
When the Yisrael Beytenu initiative was put in the
Economic Arrangements Bill, which is passed together with the budget, the
Knesset Labor, Welfare and Health Committee lowered the pay cut to only 1%,
which Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman called “unfortunate.”
leader MK Arye Deri sides with Lapid – a rare occurrence – saying if the
government can afford to give raises to MKs, it should not do so and instead use
the money to lower value-added tax and increase child allotments.