Budget Dispute Continues

Premier Yitzhak Shamir said Tuesday that the dispute between Labor and Likud over budgetary allocations to kibbutzim, development towns and Jewish settlements in the West Bank was delaying the government’s presentation of its 33 billion Shekel ($23.8 billion) national budget to the Knesset.

The budget, approved by the Cabinet, was to have gone to the Knesset for a vote last week. But the Labor Party said it would not support the budget unless Likud members of the Knesset Finance Committee supported a Treasury-approved plan to case the 266 million Shekel ($193 million) debt burden of the Labor-affiliated United Kibbutz Movement.

Likud countered with demands that the same concessions be applied to development towns and West Bank settlements. This triggered demands from other parties such as the Agudat Israel and Shas which want 30 million Shekels ($22 million) for their affiliated yeshivas. The West Bank settlers are asking for an immediate infusion of 47.5 million Shekels ($35 million) and more later.

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