Japan Eyeing Cash Benefits to Households with Income Drop

Politics

Tokyo, March 26 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government is considering including in an emergency economic stimulus package to be compiled in early April a plan to provide cash to households facing income drops due to impacts from the outbreak of the new coronavirus, informed sources have said.

The size of the stimulus package is likely to balloon, as some ruling bloc lawmakers are calling for more measures now that the tourism and retail industries are seen suffering a slump in earnings because of the postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics to next year, the sources said.

The economic package is projected to total over 30 trillion yen. Combined with the 26-trillion-yen stimulus package drawn up late last year, the economic steps implemented and planned by the government this time are likely to outpace the measures worth 56.8 trillion yen compiled to deal with the economic deterioration caused by the global financial crisis reflecting the 2008 collapse of U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers.

The government is slated to compile a fiscal 2020 supplementary budget to cover costs for the stimulus measures.

As an increasing number of businesses are being forced to suspend operations due to the fallout from the coronavirus outbreak, "enough cash benefits should be provided to people really in need," a government official said, suggesting that the planned cash program will not cover all households. The government plans to start offering cash benefits in May at the earliest.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press