MKs from the coalition and the opposition took credit for the news that Defense Minister Ehud Barak is promoting a policy in which the IDF would pay soldiers in mandatory service the minimum wage, which is currently NIS 4,100.“It is about time to significantly raise the wage for soldiers in mandatory service,” MK Miri Regev (Likud), a former IDF spokeswoman, said.RELATED:Barak on Iran: Diplomacy is preferred Regev previously proposed a bill in which combat soldiers would receive half of minimum wage, and non-combat soldiers would receive half of that amount. She added that she will continue to raise the issue in Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee and Finance Committee meetings.“I congratulate the defense minister on promoting minimum wage for soldiers in mandatory service,” MK Avishai Braverman (Labor) stated. “This proposal is based on my ‘Free to Learn’ initiative, which I have been promoting for the past six months.”Braverman’s initiative is to grant a monthly salary to those serving in the IDF or civilian service, 75 percent of which would be put into a fund for higher education, thus enabling more sectors in society to afford universities and colleges.“The time has come for the State of Israel to reward those who serve,” he explained. “However, it is important that the additional funds be designated for higher education.”On Sunday, The Marker reported that Barak said he hoped to instate a policy to pay soldiers minimum wage in their second and third years of mandatory service. He reportedly made the comments during a Knesset Finance Committee meeting on the defense budget last week, which was closed to the press.Three years ago, Labor MK Amir Peretz proposed a similar bill, and Barak, who was in Peretz’s party at the time, voted against it. The bill passed a preliminary vote, but did not make it past its first reading.