Knesset rejects minimum wage bill in first reading

The Knesset rejected a bill to gradually raise the minimum wage to NIS 4,600 in a 59-39 vote. MK Amir Peretz of Labor proposed the bill.
Peretz said to Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, who accused the bill of being populist: "I would rather be a populist than a coward!" He continued to criticize the minister, as well as members of his own party.
In response, Steinitz said "even if Peretz was finance minister - nobody would raise minimum wage at the height of an economic crisis. Whoever votes for this bill is voting for unemployment, for lowering the education budget, the internal security budget, the welfare and infrastructure budgets, and stunting economic growth in the State of Israel."