Coalition whip David Bitan (Likud) asserted yesterday that closing the planned public broadcasting corporation before it gets off the ground will save the government some 2.13 billion shekels ($550 million).
The estimate came a day after Haaretz reported that an unnamed senior minister was seeking to block creation of the new corporation, which is due to replace the Israel Broadcasting Authority with a politically nonpartisan, more efficient operation.
“The money saved could be invested in education, welfare, health and in the periphery,” Bitan said, making a populist appeal for the measure. He presented a document detailing the savings.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has also sought to block the new corporation, but Gilan Erdan – who was responsible for the reform when he was communications minister – said Bitan’s figures were erroneous and said the IBA wasted money on salaries and perks rather than on quality programming.
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