Lapid’s NIS 20,000 Salary Comment Angers Middle Class


yair-lapidIsraeli Minister of Finance Yair Lapid’s latest Facebook post has incensed the country’s middle class, in which he mentioned the case of a couple from Chadera with a combined salary of NIS 20,000 who cannot afford to buy a new apartment for one of their children.

In the post, Lapid said, “I told the Ministry of Finance officials a few days ago that I wanted to talk about Ms. Cohen. Riki Cohen of Chadera, 37, is a high school teacher. Her husband is a high-tech middle manager, and they jointly earn just over NIS 20,000 a month. They have an apartment and travel abroad once every two years, but they have no chance of buying an apartment for one of their three children in the future.”

In a country where the average gross national salary is less than NIS 9,000 and, under these circumstances, the middle class is defined as people earning NIS 6,750-11,250 a month, Lapid’s remarks seem divorced from reality.

One respondent, Asher Albo, said, “Dear Yair Lapid. I am writing to you from Italy, the once in two-year family vacation you mention. We’re exactly the family you mean. I am teacher at a private school and my wife is a social worker at a private company. We jointly earn NIS 20,000 a month. We have an apartment with a mortgage in central Tel Aviv and one daughter.

“But this shows just how divorced you are from the middle class you purport to help. We’re not really middle class. We don’t need your help or your thoughts. We get along quite nicely on our own. Help those who really need it. Help those who immolate themselves in the streets. The median gross salary is NIS 7,200 per person, according to the Bank of Israel data for 2010. This means that half the population earns less than NIS 15,000 per family!”

Ms. Yifat Cohen wrote, “Dear Yair. I am Ms. Cohen. I am almost 37. My husband and I jointly earn a gross NIS 20,000 (where did you get this imaginary number? It’s not middle class), even though our jobs are quite respectable. Your Ms. Cohen wonders where she’ll get the money to buy an apartment for one of her children. This Ms. Cohen has no idea where she’ll get the money to buy an apartment for herself and her husband, even though she has savings. This Ms. Cohen does not yet have children, although she and her husband want them. Just thinking about the financial complications of bringing to this country is horrifying.” Read more at Globes Israel.

{ Israel News Bureau}


  1. Sprint has the worst cell phone coverage in NY! There’s no point in having a cell phone, if you have to realy on Sprint! They should be shut down & thrown in prison!

  2. Dear Mr. Lapid:

    Can you please pay my Chevrat Cheshmal Bill which is way overdue. If I don’t pay by Sunday, they may cut off my electricity, G-d forbid.

    I have not had consistent work in over a year.

    RBS Resident