Bloated Gov't to Add 182 New Positions

The cabinet is to vote on, and presumably to approve, the creation of three new ministries: Intelligence and Atomic Energy, Strategic Affairs, and Information and Diaspora Affairs. As a result, Benjamin Netanyahu, who as finance minister had urged the government to slim down, will be adding 182 new positions. The cost to taxpayers will run to about NIS 100 million a year, at least.

The motion to establish the new ministries and positions is expected to pass without difficulty.

The Ministry of Intelligence and Atomic Energy will be headed by Dan Meridor. The Strategic Affairs Ministry will be led by Moshe Ya'alon and the Ministry of Information and Diaspora Affairs will be headed by Yuli Edelstein.

Each new ministry will be staffed by 20 workers, adding 60 to the government payroll.

Also, each of the seven ministers without portfolio and the three deputy ministers may hire eight people, which adds another 80 jobs.

What are the other 42 jobs? In its circular to ministers ahead of the cabinet meeting today, the cabinet secretariat explained that the cabinet is being asked to add 42 positions to the Prime Minister's Office, to provide services to the new ministries, and to the ministers without portfolio. These 42 would be added to the PMO itself, to the legal department, to the cabinet secretariat and more.

At this stage, no "homes" have been found yet for the new ministries, or the ministers without portfolio. There's no room at the PMO's office building. Renting new office space for them will inevitably raise the cost to taxpayers beyond NIS 100 million a year. But there's no rush, since defining the exact new roles of the new ministries - before which the new ministers can't function anyway - will apparently take some weeks yet.