TEL AVIV (Jul. 15)
The cost-of-living index soared by 13.3 percent in June, the highest increase ever recorded for that month which in the past has been a month of low to modest rises in the price index.
The figures, released by the Central Bureau of Statistics today, were a severe blow to the Finance Ministry and the Likud government in general just a week before election day. Likud had resisted the Labor Alignment’s demands for spring elections in the hope that a low rate of inflation in June would help it at the polls in midsummer.
Predictably, Finance Ministry spokesmen blamed the June rise on Histadrut, charging that the trade union federation was responsible for inflation because it turned down a government wage package deal.
Histadrut spokesmen returned the fire, charging that it was the government that rejected Histadrut proposals to hold down wages, prices and taxes across the board. The June inflation was only further proof of the bankruptcy of Likud’s economic policies, Histadrut said.
The 13.3 percent rise was nearly four times higher than in June, 1983 when the index increased by only 3.6 percent. It was twice as high as the previous June record of six percent in 1982.
Since the beginning of the year, the cost-of-living index has risen by 122.5 percent. Inflation is now running at an annual rate of just under 400 percent.
The June increase means that employes will receive an additional 20 percent c.o.l. allowance with their July wages, payable August I. This includes a 10.6 percent hike representing 80 percent of the June price index plus a 10 percent erosion increase won by workers in the public and private sectors.