JERUSALEM (Feb. 5)
A sharp rise in government-controlled fuel oil prices averaging 25 percent, went into effect today in Israel. The increase hit hardest at households which are Iargely dependent for heating on kerosene, on which the price boost was 20 percent. Heating costs have been unusually high because of this winter’s severe cold.
Gasoline prices went up 30 percent and fuel oil was boosted 35 percent. Treasury officials said the increases were necessitated by a steep rise in tanker transportation costs after the Suez Canal dosing. In the three months from November through January, the Government had subsidized petroleum products with 3,500,000 pounds in the hope that the transportation cost increase would be only temporary.
Unconfirmed rumors circulated that a 50 percent income tax increase was in prospect as Israel pushed plans for a return to austerity conditions which might be required if the United States clamped down on all aid to Israel in the United Nations deadlock over Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and the Gulf of Akaba positions.