Tax Hike-Related Reward Points Total 6 B. Yen in 1st Week

Politics Lifestyle

Tokyo, Oct. 11 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese industry ministry said Friday that the total amount of reward points given in a state-funded program introduced on Oct. 1 reached some 6 billion yen in the first week through Monday.

The program, aimed at offsetting the economic hit from the consumption tax hike to 10 pct from 8 pct at the start of the month, will continue until the end of June next year.

Consumers who use cashless payment methods to buy goods and services at stores and other facilities are rewarded with points worth up to 5 pct of the purchase amount.

The industry ministry said that the program had "a steady start," with the number of stores and others participating in the program coming to around 520,000 as of Friday. The figure is still around a quarter of the total of some two million stores eligible to take part in the initiative.

The government, which subsidizes stores to make up for revenue lost from awarding the points, estimates the amount of funds to cover the subsidies at some 180 billion yen under its budget for fiscal 2019, which ends next March.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press