Knesset releases annual MKs ‘connection to the public’ expenses report

At NIS 102,000, Miki Zohar top spender in 2016.

Israeli Knesset (photo credit: KOBI GIDEON/GPO)
Israeli Knesset
(photo credit: KOBI GIDEON/GPO)
MK Miki Zohar (Likud) is top of the list in the MKs annual spending report that was released on Wednesday.
Zohar spent more than NIS 102,000 from his “connection to the public budget,” including NIS 21,640 for printing and publications, NIS 20,429 for an extra office, NIS 20,314 on social networks and a personal website, and NIS 11,090 on media expenses.
The report does not provide details of the spending, sticking to categories or vague descriptions such as “office uses”, “media expenses” and “computer.”
Right after Zohar is MK Sharren Haskel (Likud), who spent NIS 100,321 during 2016. Haskel used NIS 15,077 for mail and telegrams, NIS 16,380 on personal consultancy and NIS 4,596 on refreshments.
Next come MK Nurit Koren (Likud), at NIS 99,689; MK Tali Ploskov (Kulanu) at NIS 99,379; and MK Itzik Shmuli (Zionist Union), at NIS 98,896.
The most frugal on the list are Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who spent a mere NIS 319, on Internet connection; and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon (who is currently not an MK due to the “Mini-Norwegian Law”), who used NIS 1,250, for mailings. However, as members of the cabinet they receive other funding from other budgets.
The least spending “regular MK” is the Likud’s Bennie Begin, who used NIS 2,145 for media expenses.
The Knesset “connection to the public budget” is used by MKs for a variety of purposes such as communication, office expenses and furniture, consultancy and other professional expenses.
The budget limit is set according to variables such as title (minister, deputy minister, committee chairman), seniority in the Knesset and unspent budget from the previous year. It is regulated under a Knesset decision from 2001 on MKs’ salaries.