FOCUS: Use of "Maizokin" Funds in Budget Raises Fiscal Health Concern
Tokyo, Dec. 20 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government tapped so-called "maizokin" reserves stashed in its special accounts to help finance record high general-account spending of over 100 trillion yen under the fiscal 2020 draft budget.
The use of maizokin funds to boost nontax revenues, along with delaying of debt repayments, is an unusual step the government took in drawing up the budget for the year from April.
Although the government tries to position the budget as supporting both economic revitalization and fiscal health, the budget revealed weakening fiscal discipline in real terms, critics said.
Despite the consumption tax increase from 8 pct to 10 pct on Oct. 1, there is no prospect in sight of fiscal reconstruction, they said.
"The government has reduced the issuance amount of government bonds for the eight straight years since the launch of the Abe administration," Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in a meeting of the government and ruling coalition on Thursday, claiming progress on fiscal reconstruction.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]