Locker C'ttee proposes NIS 10b IDF budget savings

Yohanan Locker and Benjamin Netanyahu
Yohanan Locker and Benjamin Netanyahu

The committee recommended shortening army service, converting early pensions to grants, and outsourcing services.

Increasing the defense budget base to a record NIS 59 billion for each of the next five years, putting the IDF retirement age at 42 and converting early pensions to grants, and shortening compulsory service to two years are the main recommendations by the Locker Committee.

The committee also recommends a series of measures for saving and cost cutting in the army, which it believes will enable the IDF to save NIS 10 billion over the next five years, money that can be used for arms buildup and improving capabilities. Other recommendations include a reduction in the reserves order of battle, a change in the pension model in order to free resources for buying arms, and outsourcing tasks to civilians in order to improve performance and enable the IDF to focus on its core missions.

In a press briefing today in Jerusalem, committee chairman Major General (res.) Yohanan Locker said, "The report closely examined various aspects of strengthening the IDF's operational capabilities. We assumed that Israel will require a strong defensive force for many years to come, and faces substantial defense challenges that will persist for decades. We found a need to shift resources within the defense establishment towards capabilities, capabilities, and more capabilities." Concerning the severe criticism of him and his committee by the defense establishment, Locker said, "The committee members cannot be suspected of failing to uphold the good of the defense establishment. I have been in the defense establishment for almost my entire life, and it is very dear to me."

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appointed the Locker Committee for examining the defense budget on May 22, 2014, headed by Locker, his former military aide. The other members were former IDF C41 Branch commander Major General (res.) Ami Shafran, Israel Police Major General (ret.) and former National Insurance Institute director general Esther Dominci, former Elbit Systems Ltd. (Nasdaq: ESLT; TASE: ESLT) president Joseph Ackerman, former Ministry of Finance deputy budget director Dor Baruch, Clal Insurance Enterprises Holdings Ltd. (TASE: CLIS) executive VP Anath Levin, Ben Gurion University of the Negev president Prof. Rivka Carmi, and former Ministry of Finance director general Prof. Ben Zion Zilberfarb. The committee report contained 53 recommendations, all of which were unanimous.

"It was important for us to verify that each recommendation in the report was practical," Locker said, noting that the committee was greatly assisted by the work of a series of committees that had discussed issues relating to the defense budget in recent years, including the Goren, Malka, Ben-Bassat ,Brodet, and Tishler committees. "These committees did good work," Locker said. "It just has to be implemented."

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on July 21, 2015

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2015

Yohanan Locker and Benjamin Netanyahu
Yohanan Locker and Benjamin Netanyahu
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