Effectiveness of Japan's Premium Voucher Campaign Questioned

Economy

Tokyo, Sept. 2 (Jiji Press)--Analysts question the effectiveness of a campaign in Japan to issue gift certificates with "premium" coupons to certain households to mitigate the negative effect of the planned consumption tax hike from 8 pct to 10 pct on Oct. 1.

Low-income earners and households with children aged up to three and half years are eligible to buy such vouchers issued by municipalities. They will be allowed to buy a voucher worth 5,000 yen for 4,000 yen, with the cost of 1,000 yen being covered by the central government.

Households with children will be allowed to get the vouchers for the number of children they have. Including low-income earners exempt from paying resident taxes, 24.5 million people will be eligible to get them.

One person can buy vouchers worth up to 25,000 yen. The vouchers can be used to pay for goods and services at stores and hospitals designated by municipalities until up to the end of March next year.

The central government will spend 181.9 billion yen in total to finance labor and printing costs related to the voucher program.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press