Knesset Rejects Lieberman Bill That Would Tax Draft-dodgers

Proposal rejected by majority of 55-3; Lieberman: Anyone who doesn't contribute to society should compensate it.

The Knesset on Wednesday rejected a bill proposed by Yisrael Beiteinu Chairman Avigdor Lieberman, which would add one percent to the income tax of anyone who did not serve in the army or in national service of any kind.

Lieberman was looking to adopt a Swiss model, which employs a similar tax. He said that anyone who does not contribute to society should compensate it "in order to help provide it a sense of equality."

Lieberman also criticized Kadima and Labor, saying their reasons for rejecting the bill were not topical, since, he said, 90 percent of voters support it.

Regarding the bill proposal, Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai said that the best way to deal with draft-dodging is through educational initiatives, incentives and compensation for soldiers, citing the Military Reserve Law, which regulates benefits for Israel Defense Forces reservists.

"The idea of a tax on draft-dodgers has a lot of problems," Vilnai said, citing the fact that it would only apply to men and that low income brackets would be unaffected.

The proposal was rejected by a majority of 55 to three.