The White House formally unveiled yesterday a new two-year "employment tax credit proposal designed to encourage businesses to hire more 18-to-24 year-olds from low-income families.
The measure, included last March in the administration's general plan for a new urban policy, would allow employers to reduce their taxes by up to $2,000 for each youth hired the first year and $1,500 the second.
The proposal essentially would scale back a more general jobs tax-credit provision in existing law, and revamp it to channel the money solely toward the hiring of low-income youths.
The action would cut the cost of the provision from the $2.5 billion under present law to about $1.1 billion. Policymakers estimate it would help provide jobs for about 1.9 million youths.
The measure is expected to be passed promptly. Rep. Al Ullman (D-Ore.), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, already has endrosed it in principle. And the bill is expected to receive strong support in the Senate.
The developments came as, separately, Charles L. Schultze, chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisers, predicted that food prices "should subside after a month or so," slowing inflation for the rest of the year.
Addressing a group in White Sulphur Springs, W. Va., Schultze said aside from the impact of food-price increases and the decline of the dollar, "there is little evidence that the underlying rate inflation has accelerated."
At the same time, however, he cautioned that unless business and labor agree to cooperate in the administration's anti-inflation effort, prices could begin to surge again. A text of his remarks was made available here.
Meanwhile, Secretary of the Treasury W. Michael Blumenthal told Reuter News Service that the U.S. needs to take some action to reduce oil imports before the seven-nation economic summit in Bonn next July.
Blumenthal has been urging the president to take action on his own if Congress hasn't passed an energy bill by mid-June, presumably by imposing a $5-a-barrel import fee on foreign produced oil.
Yesterday the secretary told Reture that "I don't have a deadline" for specific action by the administration, but asserted it would be "helpful" if the government took some measure before the parley began."TEXT OMITTED FROM SOURCE"