Israel's Knesset Members (MKs) today voted in favor of an NIS 800 pay raise per month, starting in January 2016, and some opposition members responded angrily. In response to the decision by the Knesset House Committee, Yesh Atid Party chairman MK Yair Lapid said, "It’s a scandal that MKs insist on continuing to decide their own salaries. Today was an opportunity to do the most appropriate thing by implementing the recommendation by Prof. Haim Levy's committee to divest MKs of responsibility for pay raises. We'll go on fighting against this, because it's insufferable and scandalous that MKs are raising their own pay when people can't make ends meet."
"The Knesset House Committee today put its stamp of approval on the absurd situation in which MKs decide their own salaries. This is a waste of public money for an unnecessary pay raise," said MK Yael German (Yesh Atid), adding, "The mechanism for determining MKs' salaries should change, so that no more pay raises are given. In the current situation, the more unemployed there are, and the higher the minimum wage, the more MKs' salary will increase."
MK Shelly Yachimovich (Zionist Union) said following the vote, "The decision to keep the excessive pay raise for MKs, despite a cosmetic, worthless, and laughable change, is a disgrace to the Knesset and the MKs. It unfortunately appears, however, that all sense of shame has been lost. It is a pity that MKs who fought tooth and nail against a NIS 1,000 raise per month when the public wages were being eroded could not find the courage and fortitude to fight the same way on behalf of the public interest.
"Today, I'm ashamed to be a member of the club of fat cats keeping the cream to themselves. Today, we unfortunately witnessed a shameful scene in the Knesset House Committee, in which a few MKs added insult to injury by attacking a representative of the public committee for determining MKs' salaries because he recommended that MKs waive the planned raise."
The Movement for Quality Government said in response, "The discussion in the Knesset House Committee was everything except relevant. To our disappointment, the power games between the coalition and the opposition controlled the debate, not the issue itself or the public interest. Our movement's director expressed our position to the committee, and emphasized how ridiculous it was for MKs to determine their own salaries. Unfortunately, a majority of the MKs did not realize the public significance of in effect turning the public committee into an empty shell."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on November 10, 2015
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