Driving in style – at the taxpayer’s expense

Finance Ministry will pay up to NIS 400,000 for cabinet ministers' official cars: luxury BMWs or Citroens.

By JO-BETH ANCKAN
July 12, 2012 10:49
1 minute read.
The BMW 528i costs NIS 400,000

BMW 528i 390. (photo credit: BMW)

 
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The Finance Ministry on Wednesday announced that the official vehicle of cabinet ministers will be either a BMW 528i or a Citroen C5 Exclusive.

The move came after the importers of these models won a state tender.

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According to the ministry, the tender parameters included security, pollution criteria, typical usage by ministers and other persons in high office and, finally, the discount importers offered on the models against their market prices.

The choice is “ostentatious and proves the lack of shame of this government,” Labor leader Shelly Yechimovich said.

It is “not surprising,” she added, that the government “chose the most expensive car in the tender...and it is just another proof of this government’s dissociation from the public it is intended to serve. While young couples can only dream of buying an apartment, suffer worsening conditions at work and the cost of living continues to skyrocket, it wouldn’t hurt government ministers to show some humility.”

Following criticism from Yechimovich and others, Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz instructed his ministry to examine whether the tender could be canceled. He said the criteria for choosing an official vehicle should not only include their cost but also the car model’s image. The BMW 528i is a luxury vehicle and its market price is almost NIS 400,000.

Steinitz asked the Finance Ministry’s director-general to examine whether it would be legal to publish a new tender that would cap the maximum price of the model selected.

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