Govt Drafts Measures to Ease Impact of Oct. 2019 Tax Hike

Politics

Tokyo, Nov. 26 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government, at a meeting Monday, worked out a draft of measures to alleviate the impact of a planned October 2019 consumption tax hike.

The measures, adopted at the joint meeting of the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy and the Council on Investment for the Future, include an exemption from the tax hike for food and some other products, free-of-charge preschool education and a temporary reward points program for cashless shopping.

The government is keen to prevent a revival of deflation following the tax hike, from the current 8 pct to 10 pct. After the consumption tax was raised from 5 pct to 8 pct in April 2014, domestic consumption remained sluggish for a prolonged period.

The envisioned measures, also including public construction projects, will be financed partly by the proceeds from the upcoming tax hike. If costs for the measures swell, however, criticism would grow that the tax hike's original purpose of fiscal consolidation may dissipate, observers said.

According to the draft, the reward points program will be implemented for nine months to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press