Defense Ministry proposes wage increase for combat soldiers

The Defense Ministry has proposed increasing the salaries for combat soldiers in their third year of service to NIS 3,200 a month, though Treasury officials said there is no way to fund the move, Army Radio reported on Tuesday.
"The move will enable those who take more personal risks in their military service to receive more appropriate reward," Defense Minster Ehud Barak said of the proposal, which still requires Knesset approval before it becomes law.
According to the draft, combat soldiers will receive monthly wages of NIS 1,035 in their first year, a sum that will increase gradually through the course of their army service.
Combat support soldiers will receive monthly salaries of NIS 735 in their first year, which will increase to NIS 1,600 by the third year.
The wage increases are expected to cost the Treasury $1.5 billion.
Officials in the Finance Ministry said they were unaware of the proposal, and responded by saying "There is no way to fund" the move.
"It's easy to make popular proposals, but the cost will come at the expense of hospital beds and the education system," one Treasury official told Army Radio.
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