Japan Govt, Ruling Bloc Set Income Cap for Benefit Program

Politics

Tokyo, Nov. 10 (Jiji Press)--Japan's government and ruling coalition decided Wednesday to introduce an annual household income cap for a 100,000-yen benefit program for people aged 18 or under, planned as a centerpiece of an envisaged economic stimulus package.

The Liberal Democratic Party proposed the income limit, which was accepted by its coalition partner, Komeito. The decision was made at a meeting between Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who doubles as LDP president, and Komeito chief Natsuo Yamaguchi.

A family comprising parents and two children will be ineligible for the benefits if its annual income totals 9.6 million yen or more. For a family with both parents working, decisions on the benefits will be based on the income level of the higher-earning parent.

The agreed cap is intended to fend off criticism of pork-barrel spending and wealthy people getting the benefits as well. Komeito had demanded that the benefits be paid without a household income cap.

Yamaguchi told reporters after the meeting that about 90 pct of families with children aged up to 18 in Japan will be eligible for the benefits if the income threshold is set at 9.6 million yen.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press