Consumers, businesses voice mixed views on sales tax hike next year


The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.


©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

Login to comment

the need to restore fiscal health

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"...the need to restore fiscal health"

That's a loaded, debatable statement. The record shows Japan's fiscal health is excellent, unlike Greece of Argentina, who become heavily indebted to foreigners.

Why the "need"? Where is the evidence? The evidence solidly shows Japan can "afford" its spending programs. Super low interest rates, the world's safe-haven currency, full employment, continuous growth.

The Japanese economy confounds the neo-lib doomsayers at every turn, over the past 15 years. Maybe they and the whole premise is, um, wrong?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

These kind of articles are a joke.

Does the author still think he’s talking to children? So because they mention a housewife and a politician, a nay and a yay, I’ve been informed?

Even a teenager understands capitalism, inflation, corruption, and taxes.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@ Jeff Lee -well said. I dont know why people are negative about the economy. It is ticking along nicely, and wont be affected after the needed rax increase, like before increases, due to Japans full employment.

As JeffLee says,Japans “big debt” is held by Japanese, and can be paidback by printing money anytime. Furthermore, Japan is on the winning side of the “world trade war” along with USA, so exports will keep booming.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

First of all, no consumer or business wants higher taxes. Where’s the ‘mixed views’ come in. How about leaving food and clothing alone..and maybe transportation.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The tax rise will affect my living but it can't be helped if it's needed," said a 59-year-old woman in Tokyo.

A perfect example of the pathetically passive attitude of the majority of J-voters that allows the politician crooks in this country get away with almost anything .

The consumption tax hike has already gained public approval," Hiroaki Nakanishi, chairman of the Japan Business Federation

And the biggest BS line of the day award goes to Hiroaki san.

The retail and some other sectors voiced wariness about possible confusion at stores,

Yeah, because its so incredibly hard to look at what other countries have done to survive this kind of mind blowing confusion".

"It would be a lie if I say there is no influence on votes. There's no way that everyone is happy about it," said an upper house member

How do the LDP crooks come up with this stuff..? .. show me ONE average voter who is happy about being slugged with more tax ( politicians and their cronies dont count)

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

dont know why people are negative about the economy. It is ticking along nicely, and wont be affected after the needed rax increase, like before increases, due to Japans full employment.

Economy won't be affected ? .... how can you even suggest such nonsense Gambare? Since you dont live in Japan but Oz you must be talking about the down under economy, I get it now.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Somebody please correct me if I am wrong, but —

Isn't one of the pillars of 'Abenomics' the lowering of corporate taxes (trickle-down Reaganomics, Thatcherism, and current U.S. Neo-Liberalism) under the justification that the cash will trickle down to the average worker, outsourced or not?

That doesn't seem to be working out so well, does it?

.... At least not enough to sustain the falling tax-base for sustainable national health insurance (talk about premiums are being raised) or the pitifully low pension (proposals to extend the working age past the current retirement age ... and many will have to relocate to Tohoku to retire ... even while public transportation and medical facilities are pulling out.

Almost daily, cases of corporate, political, and institutional corruption are being exposed. And the solution? A deep bow by the entitled, a promise for an in-house investigation held by a new committee (made up of cronies of the guilty), and occasionally 3rd party investigations — which may, but probably may not, lead to the nearly daily mantra for 'structural reform'.

Again, somebody correct me if I am wrong, but —

Those at the top of authoritarian hierarchies do not tend to give much more than lip service to either reform or trickle-down economics. That would be foolish, self destructive behavior by the dark-triad personality types which have entitled themselves in a scramble for the top to begin with. And it would foil their plans to create an even wider rift between the few comfortable 'haves' and the increasing number of outsourced 'have-nots'.

And so the confusion sewn by a complicated raise in consumer taxes on the 'little people', which conveniently places the heaviest burdens of implementation on the small retailers and consumers, is just another opportunity for 'dark-triad' personality types (machiavellian opportunists, narcissists, and sociopaths) to work their magic in finding a way to game the system and squirm their way up to the top.

This consumer tax is not a structural reform. It is closer to hunting gnats with an elephant gun.

But the LDP knows perfectly well that out of chaos comes, DANGER — to the already marginalized, and OPPORTUNITY — for those already inclined to self entitlement.

What the government takes away through the system, is redistributed to concentrations of power, and only reclaimed by the marginalized through so much hoop jumping, that few of those marginalized will have the skills or energy to bother going through the motions.

Just like TEPCO's offer to reimburse the elderly of Tohoko (just flll out this not-so-little stack of paperwork), the powers that be know very well how grab a lot with one hand, and return only a token amount with the other.

Same old, same old.

Similar to the U.S. neo-liberal mind-set, this appears to be the authoritarian state-managed mind-set, a bureaucracy taken over by a small, ruling elite, and putting a spin on the seeds of the nation's own destruction by further concentrating power into the hands of those at the top. The Japanese style of an increasing right-wing nationalism going on all over the world right now.

Want to understand what's really behind this tax increase? Just pick up a copy of Chomsky or Piketty, or watch a YouTube file by Amy Goodwin, Chris Hedges, or Yanis Varoufakis.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

But she said she was worried about how long the lower tax on daily goods will last, adding "it may be raised eventually."

On the contrary, it's more likely that the lower tax rate will gradually be applied to more and more products, as vested interest groups push for similar special treatment. Other taxes will go up to compensate, or (most likely) the politicians will produce an even worse debt situation than the baseline bad scenario.

Retail shops will need additional work in identifying which items are subject to which tax rate and update their cash registers accordingly.

the reduced tax rate on daily goods will "duplicate paperwork as my shop has items for both tax rates."

As I expected, exempting selected products from the higher tax rate causes more problems for the country overall than it is likely good for. There are more effective ways to mitigate the impacts of the change on no-to-low income people, the only problem is that politicians from parties like Komeito like to use these things as vehicles for vote-buying. And there are a lot of useful idiots who willingly go along with it.

"It would be much easier if it was a flat 10 percent rate," Nagata said.

Yup. And honestly, if you have no income except what you get from the government, it doesn't matter what the tax rate is is, you have no way to pay for food without help anyway. 

Therefore, the government should have gotten 3% more generous with its assistance programs, rather than opt to complicate the system for everyone and not take money from all the people who can pay for food themselves, including of course the very rich.

"But the Japanese economy can bear the consumption tax rise," said Katsuyuki Hasegawa, economist at the Mizuho Research Institute... "If the consumption tax cannot be raised at this stage, it would be more difficult in the future," he said.

That's right - with 100 trillion yen of spending and circa 60-70 trillion yen of revenues, a flat consumption tax rate would have to go to 25-30% to plug that massive hole. In reality there are going to have to be spending cuts, sooner or later, if the politicians are to plug the hole, before the markets plug it for them.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Yeah, because its so incredibly hard to look at what other countries have done to survive this kind of mind blowing confusion".

On the contrary, that other countries have also experienced confusion (e.g. is a reason to look at places where they have a simple system (like Japan's current one), and simply raise the rate while making adjustments to other government systems to compensate, without such fuss or negative effects incurred through complicating and reducing the efficiency of the tax system.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Isn't one of the pillars of 'Abenomics' the lowering of corporate taxes (trickle-down Reaganomics, Thatcherism, and current U.S. Neo-Liberalism) 

Japan's corporate tax rate stands at around 30%, one of the highest in the OECD.

Abenomics was going to 1) put a maniac in charge of the BOJ, 2) spend "flexibly" (e.g. as usual) and 3) do lots of structural reforms including to the labour markets and other regulations so that business could flourish.

"Mission accomplished" on #1 and #2, a fat F on #3.

If Japan would go big on reforms then there are ways that these consumption tax hikes could be canned, but the problem is vested interests will kick and scream when the chunk of the 30 trillion yen budget deficit that currently goes to them, is taken away. There are easy charts available online to see where the 100 trillion yen of spending goes.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Those big ticket items are going to take a hit, 10% taxation upon land/apartment/house purchases springs to mind.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It's a pity that there isn't a different range of taxes for different items - such as in other Countries, but I guess if they did have that here, then we could end up dealing with something similar to the Aussie Tampon tax situation.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

An incentive to NOT BUY and will damage economy more. They start small and grow fast. Many USA states now near the 10% mark sales tax NY and CA. Govts need to consider spending as citizens do with more concern for value.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites