Blue and White proposes salary freeze bill despite similar Likud bill

Blue and White proposed a salary freeze for members of the government, despite a similar bill by Likud, which would also cut their salaries by 10%.

Knesset meeting to pass bills to create coalition government on May 6, 2020 (photo credit: ADINA WALLMAN)
Knesset meeting to pass bills to create coalition government on May 6, 2020
(photo credit: ADINA WALLMAN)
MK Eitan Ginzburg (Blue and White), chairman of the Knesset House Committee, proposed a bill on Sunday to freeze an increase in the salaries of MKs that is expected to occur in January 2021, despite the existence of a bill already proposed by the Likud Party that would do the same but goes even farther, cutting government salaries by 10%.

“It is neither reasonable nor appropriate for Knesset members to receive a wage increase while Israeli society is in an economic and social crisis of this magnitude,” said Ginzburg. “Members of the Blue and White faction, who have been voluntarily donating from their salaries every month since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, will support the bill – and I am confident that it will also receive broad support from other Knesset members.”

Knesset Finance Committee chairman Moshe Gafni (United Torah Judaism) will reportedly also hold a discussion on freezing the salary increase for the prime minister, the president, ministers, judges and others.
The salary of those holding office is expected to rise by about NIS 6,500 in January 2021, in accordance with the average salary in the economy. The salary for MKs currently stands at NIS 45,274. Ministers and the opposition leader receive NIS 50,673.

Ginzburg’s announcement comes after Finance Minister Israel Katz (Likud) proposed a bill more than a month ago that would stop the planned salary increase and implement a 10% cut in the salaries of members of the government, including MKs, ministers, the prime minister, judges, the state comptroller and the president, among others. The proposal was unanimously approved by the government in September.

A 10% cut in these salaries would save the state coffers about NIS 70 million, according to Globes.

Blue and White opposed Katz’s bill, saying that it was the initial proposer of the bill, but that it is now going against the bill being proposed by the Likud due to Likud action against Blue and White proposals, including expanding Internet infrastructure in the periphery, privacy protection on the Internet and other reforms, according to Calcalist.

Katz attacked Justice Minister Avi Nissenkorn (Blue and White) for stopping the proposed law, saying on Facebook that Nissenkorn was blocking the law. “Why? Because he can.”

“Are these laws less important than the positive law of the finance minister?” asked Blue and White members, according to Globes.

Knesset committees can meet and decide on salary cuts for senior and elected officials, even if legislation on the issue has not been passed.

About 25 MKs have announced that they will not take the salary increase, including Yamina leader Naftali Bennett and MKs from the Yesh Atid and Yisrael Beytenu parties, among others.