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Eshkol Offers More Concessions to Mapam on Economic Policy

August 9, 1966
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Prime Minister Levi Eshkol, eager to placate leaders of the Mapam Party to keep them from walking out of the coalition Cabinet and thus splitting the Government, offered Mapam new concessions today in regard to the Government’s proposed, three-year economic policy.

After conferring with other economic leaders inside his government, Mr. Eshkol offered to impose a freeze on excess profits for self-employed Israelis as well as on corporations. The new economic policy already calls for freezes on wages and on prices, but Mapam has contended that the wage freeze would hit the workers harder than the well-to-do in Israel.

The amended version offered to Mapam by Mr. Eshkol would freeze dividends and the income of self-employed by imposing a new, 30 percent tax on additional earnings, plus a possible 20 percent surtax. These taxes would be levied on corporate and personal earnings only.

Mr. Eshkol worked out the amended version of his economic program at a conference last night with Finance Minister Pinhas Sapir, Minister of Commerce and Industry Haim Zadok, and David Horowitz, governor of the Bank of Israel. Tomorrow, the Premier is scheduled to confer with the economic committee of the Mapai-Achdut Avodah alignment. Later, he will discuss the plans also with representatives of two other partners in his coalition, the National Religious Party and the Independent Liberals.

Despite the concessions offered to Mapam, it was understood that the leaders of that party are not yet ready to give their full support to the new economic policy. The Government, however, is proceeding to make plans for implementing the new economic policy, coupled with a program of austerity in Israel. A Cabinet spokesman said today that one of the items in the new program, designed to aid low income earners, would provide that such workers receive 12 pounds ($4) per month as extra compensation to help them meet higher costs of living.

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