Defense Ministry wants to increase soldiers' pay
Under the proposal both combat and noncombat soldiers would see their pay gradually rise over the course of their three-year term, but not by the same amounts.
Soldiers doing their compulsory military service would see their pay triple during their third year in the army, under a Defense Ministry proposal that would tie financial compensation to both length and type of service.
Under the proposal, which will require Knesset approval, both combat and noncombat soldiers would see their pay gradually rise over the course of their three-year term, but not by the same amounts.
Combat soldiers, who currently earn NIS 750 a month during their compulsory service, would instead earn NIS 1,135 a month in their first year, NIS 1,500 in the second and NIS 2,200 in the third - triple what they earn now.
Soldiers in combat support units would earn NIS 753 a month in the first year, NIS 1,100 in the second and NIS 1,600 in the third. Noncombat soldiers, who currently earn NIS 350 a month, would instead earn NIS 520 in the first year, NIS 700 in the second and NIS 1,000 in the third.
The proposal would require doubling the NIS 800 million annual budget now devoted to paying soldiers in compulsory service. Some of this money would come from cutting NIS 350 million from the grants now given newly demobilized soldiers - a reasonable move, the ministry says, because the budget for these grants currently isn't fully utilized in any case.
But the ministry is demanding an increase in its budget to cover the rest, and the Finance Ministry is vehemently opposed.
"Just a few months ago, we implemented an across-the-board cut in the budgets of all government ministries to finance the defense budget," the treasury said in a statement. "Now the Defense Ministry is proposing another such cut to finance additional activity that it isn't financing out of its own budget."