It has barely been a half year since Finance Minister Yair Lapid took office, assuming the high-ranking cabinet post of finance minister. since that time, there is a growing number of ministry employees announcing they are leaving the Finance Ministry, including heads and deputy heads of units.
Just this week Reuven Koenig, who is responsible for real estate and Shaul Meridor, described as a senior and veteran ministry employee, announced they are joining the growing number of ministry professional who have decided to throw in the towel. Prior to their announcement, senior official Doron Cohen announced his resignation as well as other division heads including Gal Hershkowitz and Eyal Epstein. Prof. Oded Sarig, who was responsible for overseeing the stock exchange and insurance industry, was among those who resigned, with ministry officials adding the minister did not even bother attending his farewell party despite being such a senior official in the treasury.
Eyal Regev and Meir Bing of the budgetary division are also on their way out, News 1 reports.
The one message that seems to be the common denominator between those taking leave of their treasury posts is that Yair Lapid simply does not understand finance and economics and making it worse, he does not seek the advice of the experts, the professionals who have been running the ministry who truly understand. He makes decisions behind their backs, with many pointing out he was a journalist and never had a hand in finance – but today, he runs the show.
Just last week the experts advised Lapid to lower a financial incentive given to physicians who opt to work in outlying areas. Lapid increased it without bothering to consult with anyone. The pros feel that Lapid was startled by an article in The Marker sharply criticizing the planned cut of the incentive package for physicians and responded unilaterally. They add he acted in the very same fashion regarding tax incentives for students and in other matters too.
The general atmosphere in the ministry is not a pleasant, perhaps one filled with concern, for the professionals question how the top man in the ministry, the one responsible for making the difficult decisions hasn’t the slightest clue regarding finance and economics and he does not feel a need to consult with those who do understand.
Ladaat reports it contacted the Finance Ministry for a response to the reported worrisome situation. The response was “not true”.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)