Japan economy: Minister calls for fiscal stimulus

Official says stimulus to aim at stimulating low-income groups, families, hit hard by April’s tax hike to 8% from 5%

Afp November 04, 2014

TOKYO: Japanese Economy Minister Akira Amari has said that the government should deploy fresh fiscal stimulus to prop up the economy if third-quarter preliminary gross domestic data due on November 17 turns out weak, public broadcaster NHK reported. Amari also said the stimulus steps should be taken regardless of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s decision by year-end on whether to proceed with a second sales tax increase planned for next year aimed at reining in massive public debt. The comments came days after a shock move by the Bank of Japan to expand its massive monetary stimulus raised speculation that Abe would go ahead with the next tax hike in October, if it were followed by promises of added fiscal steps to offset a tax pain. Amari said additional fiscal stimulus should be aimed at stimulating private consumption, particularly low-income groups and families with children, hit hard by April’s tax hike to 8% from 5%. The government plans to raise the levy to 10% in October next year.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 4th, 2014.

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