As growing numbers of Israeli express their frustration with rising prices – and how difficult it is to maintain their monthly budgets – Knesset members, ministers, and other government officials are due to get their annual salary increase on January 1st. The salaries adjust automatically, based on the inflation rate of the previous year.
The increase is based on the inflation rate from January to September of the current year; Yediot Acharonot estimated that that figure would be around 3 percent. Based on that, MKs and deputy ministers will get an NIS 1,100 raise per month, while ministers will take home another NIS 1,200. The Prime Minister’s salary will jump NIS 1,360.
MKs and ministers can, if they wish, turn down the raises. On Sunday, the report said, the Kulanu faction, headed by Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, announced that it would turn down the money.
Also Wednesday, Osem announced that it would step back from its plan to raise prices on a number of its products. The decision came after a late-night meeting Tuesday between Osem executives and Kahlon, Hadashot News reported. The move came after organizers of protests against high prices had called for a boycott of Osem in the wake of the announced price increases.
Osem, one of the largest food manufacturers in Israel, had earlier announced that prices would go up at the beginning of 2019 by between 2 percent and 4.5 percent on a large number of its products, and the company was the target of particular ire by organizers of the “yellow vest” protests against high prices. The organizers called on Israelis to stop buying Osem products, claiming that the company was quite profitable, and that it was just taking advantage of the atmosphere of price rises to rake in more money.
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