Knesset members who have not yet filed statements of their assets to Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein have been given a month’s extension.
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Knesset members are normally required to submit a statement of their assets within 60 days of the beginning of their parliamentary terms, disclosing a range of information including the extent of their cash, real estate and corporate interests. The deadline is now up but has been extended to May 7 after a number of MKs said they had not managed to file.
The statements are not made public. However, some MKs have agreed to reveal the contents of their own disclosure statements. The formal disclosures are kept in a Knesset safe.
Those members for whom the present Knesset term is not their first are not required to file full information, but are allowed simply to declare that there is no change in their financial status from the previous disclosure (if that is the case). Cabinet ministers and deputy ministers are permitted to submit a declaration to the Knesset speaker confirming that they have submitted financial disclosure information to State Comptroller Joseph Shapira.
At the request of TheMarker, Labor Party leader Shelly Yacimovich was the first MK to make her financial statement public. Others who have chosen to do so are Meretz MKs Zahava Gal-On, Ilan Gilon and Tamar Zandberg, and Labor MKs Eitan Cabel, Michal Biran, Hilik Bar and Stav Shaffir.
Shaffir is a newly-elected MK and currently the Knesset’s youngest member. She was one of the leaders of the 2011 social-justice protests. She recently agreed to TheMarker’s request to disclose the statement of wealth she had submitted to Edelstein.
She reported a net worth of approximately NIS 75,000. The 27-year-old MK does not own an apartment or a car, and she pays NIS 1,970 a month in rent, as one of four roommates in a Jaffa apartment. The statement also shows that her debts to the bank (including credit cards, overdraft and loans) were NIS 74,140 as of March 2013. She also has NIS 1,684 in debt left over from the Labor primary.
On the plus side, Shaffir’s savings come to NIS 149,703, including NIS 72,321 in the bank, the equivalent of NIS 17,191 in foreign currency, NIS 57,846 in provident funds and NIS 2,345 that she received upon her discharge from the army.
Yacimovich has promised to introduce a bill that would require Knesset members’ financial statements to be made public. She introduced a similar bill during the previous Knesset but it was never put to a vote, due to the opposition it engendered among Knesset members.
The administrative staff of the Knesset Ethics Committee recently approached all those MKs who had not yet filed the required disclosure of their assets. Once the new deadline for the filing of the information has expired, the committee will pursue errant MKs if anyone misses the deadline.