Bill slashing MK, minister salaries by 10% advances

New law also delays pay raise for gov't employee; Liberman: Everyone must do his part in difficult economic times.

June 11, 2013 11:21
1 minute read.
Israeli government at the Knesset, April 22, 2013.

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 cut.

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 salaries.

“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.

MK Muhammad Barakei (Hadash) took issue with the bill, saying in the plenum that workers should not pay the price for the government’s behavior.

Shas MK 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 essential.

The bill passed its first reading with 38 MKs in favor and 15 opposed.

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