Treasury Rejects Request to Aid Israel Electric Corp.

A labor dispute has led employees to refuse to send out electric utility bills. The Electric Corp. says it can only bear the revenue shortfall until August

Israel's electricity power plant in Ashkelon, June 19, 2017.
Ariel Schalit/AP

The Finance Ministry last week turned down a request by the Israel Electric Corporation for government assistance in the face of a labor dispute that has led employees to refuse to send out current electric utility bills. As a result of the labor dispute over electricity reforms, the state-owned utility’s board of directors approached Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon and Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz for assistance to fund the utility’s ongoing operations. However, the Finance Ministry has refused to provide financial help.

The Israel Electric Corporation has said that in the absence of revenues from customer bills, it can only bear the revenue shortfall until the beginning of August. In a letter, the IEC warned that without assistance, it would be unable to meet payments to suppliers, adding that the crisis could not only affect the company’s credit rating but also that of the state.