JERUSALEM (Dec. 10)
The Cabinet unanimously approved today a 1973 budget said to total IL 19.5 billion and gave its approval to an IL 1 billion supplementary budget for 1972 proposed by Finance Minister Pinhas Sapir. Neither figure was announced officially. The Knesset will debate the national budget on Jan. 8 and will take up Sapir’s supplementary measure Dec. 25.
In a three-hour presentation, Sapir told the Cabinet that the main increase in government expenditures next year will be in the areas of immigrant absorption and welfare. The current budget stands at IL 16.5 billion. Sapir stressed that the extra money would not worsen inflation. He said he based his budget proposals on a continued annual growth rate of nine percent for the overall economy. He noted that such a rate was the minimum needed to support the government’s manifold expenses.
Sapir said he was satisfied with forecasts that exports would stay well ahead of imports by a 2-3 ratio. Sapir announced income tax cuts, obviously intended to please voters in the coming election year. Under the new arrangement, a family with two children earning IL 600 a month will pay no tax. Families with four children will be exempt if they earn up to IL 800 a month.