Knesset speaker says planned salary hikes for lawmakers should be nixed due to war

Carrie Keller-Lynn is a former political and legal correspondent for The Times of Israel

Knesset Speaker Amir Ohana holds a press conference at the Knesset, September 6, 2023. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Knesset Speaker Amir Ohana holds a press conference at the Knesset, September 6, 2023. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Knesset Speaker Amir Ohana requests that a planned salary raise for lawmakers be frozen in light of the ongoing war with Hamas.

“At this time, when the state and many of its citizens are dealing with the economic consequences of the war, just as I worked to cut NIS 80 million [$20.5 million] from the Knesset budget, I think it would be right for Knesset members to also be partners in the economic effort, which should be focused on rehabilitating communities and their residents,” Ohana writes in a letter to the professional committee responsible for recommending lawmaker wage hikes.

Lawmakers are scheduled to get a pay raise on January 1, linked to average market wage levels.

In January 2023, lawmaker salaries were raised by 5.1%, after the Knesset was urged to veto a proposed 12.5% salary hike, amid mounting inflation and a cost of living crisis. Before the 2023 raise, salaries were frozen in 2020 in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

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