Jerusalem (Jun. 16)
The cost-of-living index rose by only 3.3 percent last month. But the figures, released by the Central Bureau of Statistics today, promptly became the subject of a bitter election campaign dispute between the government and the opposition Labor Alignment.
Finance Minister Yoram Aridor, noting that the C.O.L. rise in May, 1980 had been almost three times higher, boasted that his economic policies were “reining in inflation.” Labor economists accused Aridor of “doctoring the books,” contending that the true rate was in the order of nine percent.
They noted that the government has poured massive subsidies into the economy in recent months to create a pre-election bonanza for consumers by keeping prices artificially low. But they are emptying the national coffers and plunging the country dangerously deep into debt, the Laborites warned. They predicted an “inflationary explosion” after the elections.