JERUSALEM (Feb. 23)
Premier Levi Eshkol’s proposed national budget was under attack today from both opposition parties and partners in the Prime Minister’s Mapai-led coalition Government.
Gen. Moshe Dayan, a member of Parliament representing former Premier David Ben-Gurion’s Israel Workers Party (Rafi), assailed the $1,500,000,000 budget as “contrary to what the Government claims its economic policy to be.” Yohanan Bader, of the Herut-Liberals (Gahal) fusion, said it was the “worst of all inflationary budgets ever presented to Parliament.” He said the new budget would lead to further price increases, and deplored the fact that the few cuts in Government spending called for in the budget affected vital Ministries, such as Defense, Health and Police.
Mr. Bader proposed the elimination of duplication between Government Ministries and “redundant agencies and national institutions, including those in which my party participates.” Gen. Dayan charged that the Government was “taking away after the elections what it granted before the elections to gain votes” and said this was “a swindle and a cynical act.”
The Independent Liberals, a coalition partner, met with Mr. Eshkol last night and demanded a cut in the income tax as well as a reduction of indirect taxes promised by the Premier in a “fireside” radio address Monday night. Moshe Kol, an Independent Liberal, Minister of Development and Tourism, warned the Premier that “something in this respect must be done soon.”
VOLUNTARY MOVES TO RENOUNCE WAGE HIKES SPREAD; PRICE FREEZE URGED
Meanwhile, a voluntary movement by wage earners and salaried workers to forego parts of their pay or parts of retroactive wage increases continued to spread today in Israel.
Almost every newscast on radio contained announcements from additional groups making such pledges. These have included municipal councillors, senior government officials and seamen.
Trade and Industry Minister Haim Zadok, while welcoming the development, warned that, to be effective, such salary renouncements must be accompanied by price restraints on the part of business. He warned that the Government would give special attention to big business, particularly cartels and monopolies, and that it would crack down on any price manipulations.
A handful of large business enterprises have announced price freezes, and negotiations between Trade Ministry officials and businessmen were continuing today for more such price decisions.
Kol Israel, the Israeli radio network, disclosed today that its English-language and French-language broadcasts will be severely curtailed in line with the Government’s drive to cut outlays as an anti-inflation measure.
The cuts will become effective in May, when Kol Israel begins its summer schedule. Both programs, as of that time, will be trimmed to news and short commentaries. Other foreign-language broadcasts also face curtailment, but the Arab-language programs will continue without change.