MK Moshe Gafne, chairman of the Knesset Finance Committee, spoke with Mordechai Lavi of Kol Chai Radio on Wednesday morning, 6 Adar-II.
Gafne commented on a bill which sets to place a ceiling on salaries. He stated if one wishes to earn NIS 4-5 million monthly, fine, but at least pay the appropriate income tax. He lamented the growing number of working poor, the families in which both parents work yet are unable to feed and support their families.
Gafne feels that the salary is extreme but it is worse because they are not taxed as they should be.
Gafne does not believe that setting a salary ceiling into place will not result in less qualified people assuming the positions of heads of banks and the like, but they will simply accept the new regulation, which he feels is a step towards creating a normative situation.
So what are we talking about, NIS 200,000 a month. It is not that extreme for this type of situation.
It appears you are not familiar with the real high-end salaries and they become even more extreme when one adds dividends and bonuses. There has to be some limit between the working class salary and the high-earners and at present, sky is the limit.
Why are you limiting this to bank CEOs and directors? There are doctors and lawyers earning NIS 2,000 and NIS 10,000 an hour. You target the banks because it sounds good.
We have to first begin with the financial community where we have control and where we can effectively do it. The reductions we are talking about will not drive out anyone. They will continue in their position but they need to be taxed at a higher rate. This is the case with Teva®, which was given free land from the government to assist in getting it started but they are taxed at too low a rate to this very day.
Maybe it’s time to stop looking around with a jealous eye and permit those who can earn the high end salary. After all, how much will be saved annually, a few million shekels.
I am aware many make more money and there are those who also give enormous amounts of tzedaka and assist many. However, the heads of banks have reached an extreme. We are looking to lowering to NIS 3.5 million a year and then NIS 2.5 million. Let me make it clear. The law is not about saving money but placing a new norm into place. We are too capitalist and the time has come to stop this. It has to be halted. However, it appears you are clueless for this will save tens or hundreds of millions of shekels annually.
We must fine the moderation. We cannot permit one to earn what he can but there must also be enough money to attract the big talent.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)