IDF soldiers (illustrative)
IDF soldiers (illustrative) IDF spokesperson

Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu) and Defense Minister Benny Gantz (Blue and White) have reached an agreement on raising subsistence pay for soldiers by fifty percent, starting in January, 2022.

The raise will apply to soldiers during their mandatory service. The move is being coordinated with the IDF Chief of Staff, Aviv Kochavi, and with a special taskforce that will be undertaking implementation of the decision, during the coming weeks. It is expected to cost the State NIS 900 million, with the monies coming from the defense budget along with an additional budget that will be transferred by the Finance Ministry.

As such, subsistence pay will rise to around NIS 2,463 per month for most soldiers. Combat soldiers during operations will be paid around NIS 3,048 per month, support crews will receive NIS 1,793 per month, and homefront-based soldiers will be paid NIS 1,235 per month.

“The decision we have reached today is one that will bring just treatment to those who serve,” said Defense Minister Gantz. “It will have significant consequences for strengthening the IDF and for maintaining it as a people’s army. This is a national necessity that combines with the necessity to implement broad reforms within army service. Alongside this raise in pay, we will continue to concern ourselves with soldiers’ welfare and will also be broadening the circle of recruits and supporting soldiers from specific populations who need additional assistance.”

Gantz added that, “I wish to thank Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman, whose concern for national security and the welfare of IDF soldiers has led to this important decision. I would also like to thank the IDF Chief of Staff, Aviv Kochavi, who led and pushed for the advancement of this issue out of concern for the welfare of IDF soldiers and officers.”

“I promised to raise subsistence wages for soldiers, both career soldiers and those on mandatory service,” said Finance Minister Liberman, “and this decision is a mark of appreciation for those who serve in the IDF, those who protect the State and its citizens. This decision expresses our responsibility and obligation toward those who contribute to the State, and also expresses a policy of change in priorities that this government has adopted. It joins a long list of steps we have taken, such as passing the state budget,” he added.

“I would like to thank the Defense Minister, Benny Gantz, for his cooperation in reaching this decision. IDF soldiers – the State of Israel and I personally will continue to concern ourselves with your welfare,” he concluded.

Also speaking was IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi, who said, “The people’s army is the guarantor of our national security, and we are obligated to value the soldiers who serve within it. IDF soldiers are the powerhouse of the IDF – each and every soldier is a precious asset and concerning ourselves with their welfare is our obligation.”

According to Kochavi, the decision to raise soldiers’ pay is significant within the framework of other wide-ranging changes being made to the way soldiers are treated, from the very first day of their enlistment until they are discharged, and beyond. This framework includes expanding the package of economic benefits provided to lone soldiers and others in need of special assistance, and also increasing the funding allocated to higher education for soldiers who have completed their mandatory service, doubling the number of those eligible for such stipends.

“The contribution made by IDF soldiers is worthy of recognition and as such, increasing subsistence pay is an additional expression of this,” Kochavi said. “We will continue to do whatever we can to improve service conditions and provide appropriate recompense. I wish to thank the Defense Minister and the Finance Minister for this decision and for their concern for the welfare of IDF soldiers.”