Jewish Home MK Yinon Magal accused Yedioth Aharonot of deceiving its readers in the way it reported about a vote this week regarding MKs' salaries.
Yedioth Aharonot published a headline in which it said that MKs had voted to raise their own salaries, but voted against raising the salaries of soldiers.
Speaking at a conference of insurance agents, Magal explained that the soldiers' salaries are indeed being raised by 50%. However, the Coalition voted against a bill submitted by MK Ya'akov Perry (Yesh Atid) to raise the soldiers' salaries, because the government is about to do so anyway.
The raise in soldiers' salaries, Magal said, is "a tremendous achievement" and was included in the Coalition agreements by Jewish Home Chairman Naftali Bennett and Kulanu Chairman Moshe Kahlon.
As for the vote regarding the MKs' salaries, Magal explained that the vote was on whether or not the MKs' salaries should be exempted from the rule that is applied to all senior civil servants, whose salaries are raised or lowered in accordance with the average salary in the Israeli market, instead of being raised or lowered in accordance with the price index. These senior civil servants include judges, the prime minister, government ministers, the president, as well as several hundred directors and senior managers.
Exempting only the MKs from the rule applied to all senior civil servants would be populist, he said. Instead, the suggested change should be applied to all senior civil servants. This should be done in an orderly fashion in the Knesset's Finance Committee, he said, with Finance Ministry representatives present, as decided by the Knesset's House Committee.
The MKs's salaries rose by between 700 and 1,400 shekels a month in the latest adjustment. Currently, they make 40,029 shekels (nearly $10,200) in gross monthly wages, meaning they are paid nearly half a million shekels (over $122,000) each year.
Magal warned Yedioth Aharonot that the days when it could pull the wool over the eyes of the public are gone. "I am not afraid of you," he said. "I am not afraid of the media."