FOCUS: One Year to Go, Businesses Worried about Consumption Tax Relief

Politics Lifestyle

Tokyo, Oct. 2 (Jiji Press)--With the Japanese government planning to raise the consumption tax rate from 8 pct to 10 pct one year from now, on Oct. 1 next year, businesses are worried about the extra burden of a consumer-friendly relief measure.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made clear his intention to raise the tax as planned when he met the press on Sept. 20, after postponing such a tax hike twice in the past.

To limit the influence of the higher rate on households, however, the government will keep the tax rate at 8 pct on food, beverages and regular newspapers, resulting in Japan's first reduced tax rate under the consumption tax system.

The lower rate will not be applied to alcoholic drinks or food served at restaurants.

The reduced tax rate "is expected to ease the burden on households," said Taro Saito, director of economic research at NLI Research Institute.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press