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Begin Refuses Wage Hike

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Premier Menachem Begin and three other ministers announced today they would decline an 80 percent salary increase awarded them Monday by the Knesset Finance Committee. The committee approved the hike for ministers, their deputies and judges. Experts said the increase would cause a “domino” effect, with deputy ministers, Knesseters and top civil servants almost automatically following in line to receive the same hikes.

Finance Minister Simcha Ehrlich contended today that despite the committee’s decision, the government would be able to maintain its wage policy with a proposed national ceiling on wage rises of fifteen percent. The other three ministers who declined salary hikes were Deputy Premier Yigael Yadin, Agriculture Minister Ariel Sharon and Minister-Without-Portfolio Haim Landau. Observers expected other ministers to follow suit.

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