Top earner in line for raise is Supreme Court chief justice

Salaries of prime minister, ministers, MKs, and president set to jump by nearly 15%

Monthly paycheck linked to average salaries, but system was frozen during COVID-19 pandemic; PM to get around NIS 64,700 ($19,700) per month, lawmakers NIS 52,000 ($15,340)

The plenary hall during the swearing-in ceremony of the 25th Knesset, in Jerusalem, November 15, 2022. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
The plenary hall during the swearing-in ceremony of the 25th Knesset, in Jerusalem, November 15, 2022. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

The salaries of top civil servants including the president, prime minister, ministers, and lawmakers are set to jump by up to 15 percent at the start of the year.

Judges are also set to benefit from the raises, which come as a freeze on the wages — introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic — expires at the end of December.

The top earner in line for a raise is Supreme Court Chief Justice Esther Hayut, whose monthly salary will go from NIS 104,000 (approximately $30,000) to around NIS 119,000 ($35,000).

President Isaac Herzog will enjoy a monthly increase from NIS 64,673 ($19,090) to around NIS 74,300 ($21,930).

Prime Minister Yair Lapid is earning a monthly NIS 56,345 ($16,630), but his expected replacement, Likud chief Benjamin Netanyahu, will take home around NIS 64,700 ($19,000) a month starting the beginning of next year.

Lapid, who is expected to become opposition leader, will see his salary for that role rise from NIS 50,673 ($14,960) to around NIS 58,200 ($17,180) per month, the same salary as government ministers.

Supreme Court Chief Justice Esther Hayut attends a hearing in Jerusalem on December 1, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Deputy ministers and MKS will get around NIS 52,000 ($15,345) compared to the NIS 45,274 ($13,360) they are getting now.

The salary of Supreme Court judges will go up to nearly NIS 92,000 ($27,150) a month. District court judges will get NIS 72,5000 ($21,390) a month, while magistrate court judges will earn NIS 58,000, ($17,107), Channel 12 reported.

The salaries of these senior civil servants and lawmakers are normally linked to the average salaries in the country, but any change to salaries was suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The freeze was introduced because coronavirus lockdowns caused many people to lose their jobs, overwhelmingly those with lower salaries rather than high earners in senior positions.

As a result, the calculation for civil servant wages would have been warped sharply upwards.

(L) Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu (RONALDO SCHEMIDT / AFP) and Prime Minister Yair Lapid (R) (JACK GUEZ / AFP)

Economic recovery in the wake of the pandemic has brought the average salary back to normal but it is still some 13.5%-15% higher than the last figure calculated before the freeze began.

The final calculation of the upcoming increase will be based on the average salary in October, a figure which will only be published at the beginning of next month.

The Knesset Finance Committee has the ability to prevent the salary increase or reduce it for the president, prime minister or ministers.

MKs’s salaries are controlled by the Knesset House Committee, which acts on the recommendations of an advisory panel.

The Ynet news site estimated the total cost of the raises will be NIS 130 million ($38,338,000).

The salary increases come as many members of the public struggle with the rising cost of living, as well as widespread layoffs across a number of industries.

Meanwhile, welfare support for those in need is tied to the consumer price index and will therefore see a far more modest increase of around 5% in January, Channel 12 reported.

That will amount to an approximate rise of NIS 80 ($23.50) per person per month for those who receive assistance.

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