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Finance Minister Taro Aso Photo: AP file
politics

Aso says no tax cuts for time being to counter pandemic

34 Comments

Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso said on Tuesday he was not considering tax cuts, including a reduction in the sales tax, for the time being as a way of easing the economic pain from the coronavirus pandemic.

"Japan's fiscal condition is in a severe state and will likely turn more dire due to the pandemic," Aso told parliament.

"Cutting tax isn't something I have in mind for the time being," Aso said, when asked by a lawmaker whether the government could cut tax as part of efforts to support an economy suffering from the fallout of the pandemic.

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34 Comments
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So, what does Aso have in mind to alleviate the government promoted recession?

21 ( +24 / -3 )

Aso makes it clear that the Japanese Government has no clue what they are doing. We need a few women in the Government to add some thinking to the mix.

-1 ( +12 / -13 )

Let me guess what Aso is thinking. Reduction of total income of diet members and the bureaucracy by 50%, elimination of all housing, travel and entertainment allowances, and reduction of the number of diet members by 60%. Thank you sir, done deal, go ahead and sign it into law.

22 ( +24 / -2 )

Michael MachidaToday  07:14 am JST

Aso makes it clear that the Japanese Government has no clue what they are doing. We need a few women in the Government to add some thinking to the mix.

I believe you meant to say "We need a few qualified people in the Government to add some thinking to the mix."

Being male or female doesn't make things better. Being qualified and having the correct skill set does.

20 ( +24 / -4 )

"Japan's fiscal condition is in a severe state and will likely turn more dire due to the pandemic," Aso told parliament.

Well then, aso, how about you and your elitist nakamatachi take a pay cut like a lot of people in this country have? Don't worry, we the people are "allowing" you to do so, so you're in good hands. Just think about it: allowing yourselves to take a pay cut will reduce the burden on the government, so that you could effectively reduce taxes OR increase your government subsidies. Has an idea this radical ever crossed your elitist mind?

19 ( +20 / -1 )

There will be no reduction of any taxes. Especially for the average Taro Tanaka. There will, however, be zero interest ‘loans’ with no payback date for the average ‘friend of Abe’ or big businesses (cough Toyota Honda cough).

15 ( +16 / -1 )

Mr Aso,

how come you can so easily find me and the 3 companies I own to send me very regular and on time tax bills with a very creative variety but you can not find me to pay the 100.000 yen and “manage” that through an antiquated system of filling out an application ? That system costs government about the same as the actual support.

I helped by returning the free Abe masks to the PM’s residence. Seeing he is virtually the only one wearing them, the stock should last him a few pandemics.

26 ( +27 / -1 )

Cut your own salary you good-for-nothing tax-leeching soil-smelling oyaji

27 ( +28 / -1 )

Perhaps Mr. Aso could address the rumours that a company in the Aso Group profited from the Abenomask debacle.

19 ( +20 / -1 )

"Donating" a big chunk of your (and your buddies') salary as well as bonus would be a first step!

In addition eliminate other unnecessary expenses, travel, wining & dining, special allowances and so on.

I'm afraid, however, that neither Aso nor other "friends" would agree ..... most definitely we can expect the opposite, further tax increases for the working population, tax cuts for big companies.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

Perhaps Aso can take a pay cut?

20 ( +20 / -0 )

There will be no tax cuts , there will however be more tax increases to cover this failure of a govts policies.

15 ( +15 / -0 )

This guy would never recommend tax cuts in any situation.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

I think with the delay in the crisis payments going out and now this, they are trying to wait out the pandemic by using delay tactics so they can pay as little as possible.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Not sure why people need tax cuts. It’s not like anyone is making money.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

A reduction in consumption tax from 10 % back to say 5 % would help a lot more than wasting $435,000,000 on a load of tiny dirty masks.

The Abe government is a joke.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Consumption tax up to 20% in the next five years. Bet on it.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

@Michael because some feminists can't understand very simple statement without casting it to a hateful speach and then play the victimhood on their own casting. We need skillful human. Including women and men.

(ノ-_-)ノ~┻━┻

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Don't trust Aso!

He will increase taxes for Japanese nationals, while give subsidies/tax breaks to big corporations (mostly foreign controlled).

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Aso says no tax cuts for time being to counter pandemic

me: あっそぉ!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Much though I despise Aso, I agree with this position.

Tax cuts at this point will do nothing to help the economy. People are worried about keeping their jobs, which is what is dampening demand. Letting them keep 1 or 2% more of the salary of a job they might lose isn't going to change their behavior at all.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Last year was painful enough, so with the doom & gloom happening right now it'd be a good idea for the govt. to do something to loosen the tax bite this year.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Of course not!

""Japan's fiscal condition is in a severe state and will likely turn more dire due to the pandemic,"

Ah, but who cares about the people, eh, Aso? I mean, I asked my acquaintance who works in City Hall about the process to obtain a MyNumber card and he told me, "If you don't have one already you should just wait for the postal application form. People are waiting up to eight hours, in large groups, side-by-side, to go through the application in person. You can apply online and it'll be smoother, but you still need to buy a card reader to apply for the aid later, or use the app... (laughed) which isn't working for most phones. In any case, it looks like people in Osaka won't get it until June or so," but when I asked him about residence tax and healthy insurance payment slips, he said those would be coming out on time.

Good old government priorities.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

As failed PM, Aso said ¥1200 for a cup of coffee is reasonable.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Disgusting filthy politicians dont give a rats about the working...

2 ( +3 / -1 )

really!? How come we received the “Notice for 2020 Tax payments“ from the City hall BEFORE The application for the cash hand-out Even started!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Tax cuts at this point will do nothing to help the economy. 

Tax cuts have ALWAYS helped the economy. I don't need the government to tax others to pay for me. I need the government to quit taking away what I earn. I remember way back when there was NO sales tax in Japan. Things have only gotten worse since then. (Yes, I have lived in Japan that long.)

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Cutting sales tax down 2,3, or 5% would increase domstic spending putting more money into all sorts of companies hands and less in to government the coffers boosting the economy Mr. Aso. These Old timers in government need to be set out to pasture. Its time the Japanese government modernize it's diet and this country. Japan has such a great opportunity here to be a total a game changer with COVID-19 in the mix. I see tons of opprotunity for Japan to rise lead and help other nations and set the bar. But these Old timers have the thirst for money power a huge greed factor. payout to big Corp. Bribes. They are killing any chnce for Japan and her citzens to rise and do something truley great to help the world and be a leader among other Asian countries. Better get on the ball or one day we will wake up and see the Chinese flag everywhere.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Tax cuts have ALWAYS helped the economy. 

No they haven't, but that is besides the point. The specific economic problem right now is that people aren't spending. The reason they aren't spending is that they are scared of losing their jobs, or they simply can't go to businesses which are shut due to the virus. Cutting taxes isn't going to make their jobs any more secure, nor will it magically lift the shutdown, so its not a policy that will solve the specific economic problem that the country is facing right now.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

It’s ironic that Abe was saying that only an economic crisis on the scale of Lehman Bro’s would prevent the sales tax hike last year.

He must be gutted that he hadn’t planned the hike for this Autumn not last.

But boy is Japan in a tough spot. Already drowned in public debt forever, unable to hike taxes further, unable to cut taxes for fear of what that might trigger.

Probably it’s time to just throw caution to the wind and hope to get lucky!!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Aso along with Abe must go as soon as possible.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I remember way back when there was NO sales tax in Japan. Things have only gotten worse since then.

The consumer tax (消費税) was introduced in 1989. Its introduction saw the abolition of the commodity tax (物品税) which had been introduced in the 1930s. They are both indirect taxes levied on stuff you buy, the difference being that the consumer tax is on everything (and originally a single rate across the board) while the commodity tax was levied on so-called luxury goods (on golf clubs, but not tennis rackets; on coffee beans but not tea leaves; on water skis but not snow skis) and the rate varied according to the perceived degree of luxury; eg 23% on a saloon car, 18.5% on a compact car. A rose by any other name.

(Yes, I have lived in Japan that long.)*

From before the war? Even I haven't lived in Japan that long.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

By the way......show us the money" Y100,000

0 ( +0 / -0 )

They are both indirect taxes levied on stuff you buy, the difference being that the consumer tax is on everything (and originally a single rate across the board) while the commodity tax was levied on so-called luxury goods

Our predecessors had figured it out that distorting economic activities through such tax schemes was not worth it and so low, flat, broad based taxes came into fashion.

Japan has gone backwards in recent times, as the pressure to hike tax revenues came on.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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