JERUSALEM (Jan. 14)
The Cabinet approved today a record IL 11 billion supplementary budget representing an increase of more than 50 percent over the regular annual budget of IL 20 billion. The supplementary budget is intended mainly to cover expenses arising from the Yom Kippur War. It is over and above an emergency supplementary budget of IL 1.25 billion approved while the war was still being fought to cover immediate expenses. The supplementary budget was approved without opposition and will be submitted to the eighth Knesset when it convenes for the first time next week. Finance Minister Pinhas Sapir who introduced the budget to the Cabinet said it was Israel’s biggest additional budget, both absolutely and relatively. In addition to regular war expenses, the budget also covers the salaries paid mobilized men which amount to IL 200 million a month. The budget also includes sums which were determined before the war, such as the pay increases in the summer of 1973.
Sapir said that in addition to the budgetary price, there is an economic price to the war, namely the loss in the national product. This declined sharply in the last quarter of the year, more sharply than any decline in the past and was related to the partial mobilization of the economy, Sapir said. He praised the aid coming from world Jewry, and said that although the financial aid coming from the U.S. was considerable, most of the burden still falls on the Israelis themselves. Sapir said the additional budget did not call for new taxes but relied mainly on various loans in Israel and abroad.