JERUSALEM. (Feb. 10)
The Progressive Party today blew up a new political storm by threatening to walk out of the Ben Gurion Cabinet unless the coalition supported its proposals to amend the income tax law in favor of middle income groups.
If the centrist party, with its five seats in Parliament, withdraws, the coalition will still be in command of a small majority–64 seats in the 120 member House. But to hold that control, the Mapai-Mapam-Achdut Avodsh partnership would have to lean heavily on five deputies from three splinter Arab parties.
The Progressives, whose chief strength comes from professionals and middle class voters, are apparently concerned that if they continue to go along with the austerity-heavy taxation regime without affording relief for their adherents, they will suffer at the forth coming national elections.