JERUSALEM (Sep. 19)
Increased income will soon permit the Israel Government to balance its defense budget as well as its regular budget, Finance Minister Eliezer Kaplan told Parliament as he opened debate on his request for a 27,400,000-pound appropriation for the next three months. This would cover the regular budget, but not the defense budget whose total is kept secret.
The government’s inability to balance the defense budget in the past forced it to issue Treasury bills which have become an inflationary force in the national economy. The regular budget has always been balanced.
Mr. Kaplan revealed that income for the first five months of the fiscal year–from April through August–has been some 66 percent higher than originally estimated, As a result, it has not been necessary to issue any Treasury bills of late. The chief source of the government’s revenue remains income taxes.
During the debate the General Zionists remained neutral and they are expected to support the government budget request. The left-wing Mapam Party attacked the budget, asserting that it gives the government too much power. The budget is expected to pass, probably some time next week.