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Sapir Denies Worsening Poverty Gap

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Finance Minister Pinhas Sapir took strong exception last night to claims that the gap between poverty and wealth was widening in Israel and that the Government was doing nothing to alleviate the severe housing shortage, particularly for the poor. Addressing a meeting of the Labor Party’s central committee here, Sapir noted that a committee headed by David Horowitz, Governor of the Bank of Israel, found recently that the “index of inequalities” has dropped by ten percent since 1967 for the country as a whole and 15 percent for Jewish wage-earners in urban centers. He also reported that between 1967-70, the number of families living three-to-a-room declined from 70,000 to 54,000, a drop of 20 percent which, according to Sapir, was a world record. The Finance Minister said the Government and 15 construction companies will build 14,000 new housing units for young couples each year for the next four-five years. He said this project would operate concurrently with plans to re-house 45,000 families now living in sub-standard or overcrowded dwellings.

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