If you wish to anger an Israeli you just have to mention the salaries and perks for Israel Electric Company employees. The fact that these employees receive free electricity is a bone of contention for many, who question the validity of offering an employee unlimited free energy at the expense of the utility company and the nation.
The Knesset Finance Committee on Wednesday 11 Elul 5772 approved permitting the state to underwrite a 2 billion NIS loan for the utility company. The move averted yet another increase in electricity, this time 10%. The state’s underwriting the money will permit IEC to continue operating and addressing debts.
The utility’s director, Yiftach Ron-Tal promised members of the Knesset Finance Committee that he is going to bring an end to the free electricity enjoyed by employees. He explained this is part of the utility’s commitment to reform. The utility lost 1.2 billion NIS in the first quarter of 2012 and the company’s debt has reached 70 billion NIS.
To date, not only do employees enjoy free electricity, it is known that many run lines to the apartments of neighbors to permit them to obtain free electric too, or alternatively, they charge neighbors a reduced rate and profit on the free electric they receive.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)