JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu surprised his Facebook followers on Monday by posting a copy of his government pay stub, letting everyone know he takes home just 15,000 shekels ($4,200) each month.
The online disclosure came as the country’s top officials and lawmakers are pushing for a pay rise, and the Israeli leader’s Facebook page said he “decided to provide total transparency” following public requests.
Israeli media commentators described it as a public relations stunt, but still joked how they were caught off guard by Netanyahu’s low pay grade compared to other world leaders.
A ranking of leaders’ pay by The Economist last July put Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at number one, with a basic annual salary of $2.18 million.
Netanyahu’s pay stub, from last month, listed a gross salary of about 44,000 shekels that quickly dwindled following taxes, health insurance and social security payments, as well as a 11,590 shekel monthly deduction for his armored car.
“It seems as though the prime minister, like many employees, opens his pay stub at the end of the month in wonder,” joked Channel 10 reporter Chico Menashe.
Not listed were the many personal expenses covered by the government, commentators pointed out.
Writing by Ari Rabinovitch, Editing by Mark Trevelyan