Cabinet sitting down Knesset 370.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
MKs voted to slash their own salaries, as well as those of ministers and other
senior public figures, by 10 percent on Monday night, when a bill to that effect
passed its first Knesset vote.
“In this difficult economic time, our
House of Representatives gave expression to the fact that we are all in one boat
and that everyone must do his part,” stated Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense
Committee chairman Avigdor Liberman (Likud Beytenu), who proposed the pay
Besides these pay cuts, the bill also delays raises in government
employees’ pay until December 2014 or later, depending on agreements with the
Histadrut labor federation.
Government workers who are not members of the
Histadrut will receive a pay cut of 0.9324%.
The bill’s explanatory
portion explains that an immediate fiscal policy change is necessary to prevent
the market from rapidly declining and reaching an economic crisis situation. As
such, the bill seeks to limit the sharp increase in government spending on
“I am convinced that in a joint effort of all citizens, in the
not-so-distant future, we will all be able to enjoy the fruits of economic
responsibility that we are currently showing,” Liberman added.
Muhammad Barakei (Hadash) took issue with the bill, saying in the plenum that
workers should not pay the price for the government’s behavior.
Ya’acov Margi expressed similar sentiments, lamenting that “the government is
sticking its hand into workers’ pockets.”
Coalition chairman Yariv Levin
(Likud Beytenu) said it was scandalous that judges – who will have their pay cut
as well – would nonetheless be receiving bonuses. But Labor faction chairman
Isaac Herzog spoke in favor of the legislation, saying that while it was
unfortunate that workers’ salaries would be cut, this step was
The bill passed its first reading with 38 MKs in favor and 15