Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu just posted a copy of his February paycheck on Twitter. He says he did so as an act of transparency.
Here’s what we learned: While being the leader of the Jewish state certainly has its perks, the prime minister’s salary does not appear to be one of them.
The pay stub showed that Netanyahu earned a very comfortable income of 48,815 shekels ($12,526) for one month of work. That’s roughly five times the average Israeli salary of 9,626.80 shekels or $2,468.85 a month, according to the latest data from Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics.
But taxes in Israel do take a bite.
After Netanyahu paid his income tax, his national health insurance and his social security contribution, the prime minister took home 17,645 shekels a month ($4,529.35).
It’s not really that much for someone who often works unsociable hours and takes a lot of flak but not too bad for the leader of a small Mediterranean country, especially when one considers the plush free residence, full range of service staff and other benefits — 24-hour security, a private chartered airplane (sometimes including a bed) and lots of ice cream.
Still, compared to other well-known world leaders, Netanyahu salary comes in a little short.
According to research by CNN from last year, President Obama pulls in around $33,000 a month (plus extras for personal, entertainment and travel expenses). Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel makes roughly $19,000 a month and Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron $17,900.
Those earning less than Netanyahu, appeared to be Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose monthly income was about $10,676 a month and China’s President Xi Jinping, who earned about $1,833 a month, CNN reported.
Israeli daily Ha’aretz reported that the decision to publish Netanyahu’s paycheck came after his office received numerous requests for transparency, although it did not say who wanted to nose into the prime minister’s private business. A spokesman told the newspaper that Netanyahu’s net pay for February was average and in January it was slightly less.
(c) 2016, The Washington Post · Ruth Eglash