Elections c'tee approves NIS 40m. expenditure increase to elections budget; c'tee head urges not to reach budget ceiling.
By NADAV SHEMER
The upcoming general election will cost Israeli taxpayers NIS 246.78 million, almost 20 percent more than the previous vote four years ago, according to a budget approved Monday by the Knesset Finance Committee.The committee approved the NIS 40 million expenditure increase, which accounts for higher salaries, personnel training, the addition of new voting areas and polling stations, the inclusion of more employees and voting forms.Committee chairman MK Moshe Gafni urged Orly Adas, the director-general of the Central Elections Committee , to make efforts not to reach the budget ceiling. Reminding her that this was “public money,” Gafni said the Central Elections Committee must bring all budgetary changes to the finance committee for approval.“As in past years, all efforts will be made not to reach the budget ceiling and not to spend everything that is contained in the various budget items,” Adas told Gafni.Although the total budget for the 2009 election stood at NIS 207 million, only NIS 187 million of it was used, and the remaining NIS 20 million was returned to the Treasury.The budget is broken down as follows: pre-election preparations – NIS 82.8 million; election day activities – NIS 76.2 million; election day salaries – NIS 58.5 million; computing costs – NIS 22.2 million; and inventory – NIS 7.2 million.Subcategories costing under NIS 1 million include: finding locations for polling stations with easy access for disabled people; establishing stations for diplomats serving abroad; staff training; salaries of training personnel; and editing of advertisements produced by the various political parties.As usual, the Central Elections Committee will produce a multimedia campaign to explain the election process to the public, at a cost of NIS 1.8 million.
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