JERUSALEM (Nov. 18)
A select body of Cabinet ministers under the chairmanship of the new Finance Minister, Yigal Hurwitz, held its first meeting today to map an all-out war against inflation. Many public services and institutions are expected to be casualties of the drastic budget cuts scheduled to take effect when the new fiscal year begins next April.
If Hurwitz’s plans are adopted, there will be no new schools, fewer hospitals, a freeze on welfare payments, tougher welfare criteria and painstaking examination of all new development projects, many of them likely to be rejected. Israelis will “have to work harder and save more” in the year ahead, Hurwitz said.
Immediate measures to be introduced include a 30 percent hike in electricity rates and reintroduction of the travel tax, a levy imposed by the previous Labor-led government which Likud abolished after taking office in 1977 on grounds that it was “regressive.”