Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Aridor Presents His Budget

February 26, 1981
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Finance Minister Yoram Aridor presented his 206 billion Shekel budget to the Knesset Monday, insisting that it represented a wise balance of social and economic needs and was not geared to election campaign politics. The budget is for the next fiscal year which begins April 1, just two months before the June 30 Knesset elections which could result in a change of government and a departure from Likud economic policies.

According to Aridor, his budget’s primary aim is to reduce the rate of inflation, currently at 133 percent, to a more manageable two-digit figure, possibley 98 percent. The budget is essentially the one prepared by Aridor’s predecessor, Finance Minister Yigal Hurwitz, except for an additional appropriation of 400 million Shekels for the Defense Ministry to be spent “only according to needs and after a review by both the Treasury and the Defense Ministry.”

As it stands, nearly one-third of the total budget– 63.8 billion Shekels– is for defense. Aridor said that despite the peace treaty with Egypt, the defense budget could not be cut. The budget also provides continued funding for Jewish settlements on the occupied West Bank, the Gaza district, the Jordan Valley and the Golan Heights. Aridor echoed the Likud contention that Israel has a right to settle those disputed territories and that they were necessary for defense.

Ezra Sadan, Director General of the Finance Ministry, said that despite the elections there was no choice but to prepare a budget for the full fiscal year because the Defense Ministry could not other-wise plan ahead.

Recommended from JTA