Abe Favors 5 Pct Reward Points for 9 Months until Tokyo Games

Politics Lifestyle

Tokyo, Nov. 22 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday showed a plan to study raising the size of planned reward points to be given for cashless payments as a step to ease the impacts of next year's consumption tax hike to 5 pct of the value of purchases during the nine months until the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

Fumio Kishida, policy chief of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, revealed Abe's plan in talks with reporters after he proposed to the prime minister the same day the party's package of measures aimed at mitigating the negative effects of the consumption tax rate increase to 10 pct from 8 pct slated for October 2019.

The size of the reward points, which can be used to buy goods and services, was initially supposed to be set at 2 pct.

If the reward point rate is set at 5 pct, related public-sector financial burdens are expected to balloon to hundreds of billions of yen, making it necessary for the government to study how to cover the massive costs.

Kishida also quoted Abe as saying he hopes that a different point program, being considered for holders of the My Number social security and taxation identification cards, will be introduced after full preparations are made.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press