Knesset Members to Get No Raise in 2009

Israel's parliamentarians won't be getting raises in 2009, the House Committee announced yesterday.

Knesset members had been expected to get an extra NIS 997 a month, in net terms. But after yesterday's ruling, their gross monthly wage will stay at NIS 33,259.

"It's important that the Knesset set an example to the public during these hard times," said former Knesset speaker MK Reuven Rivlin of Likud. "The Knesset members should show that they are attentive to the public's needs."

The committee convened following a query by TheMarker regarding an automatic wage update system, which would have entitled MKs to a 3% raise.

In addition to their monthly salaries, lawmakers also receive a car on the taxpayer's dime, telephone privileges, free newspapers and many other perks.

The Knesset Finance Committee will convene today to determine if the salaries of the president, prime minister, ministers and judges should also be frozen.

"It's important, appropriate and fitting to improve this Knesset's image," commented House Committee chairman MK David Tal. "This is a message to the public that the MKs are setting a personal example."