politics

Japan must proceed with unpopular sales tax hike: Kishida

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increasing the tax on an already suffering economy and public will throw Japan into a depression. Mr Kishida- how about YOU and the rest of the blue bloods show us how much you really love Japan and halve your salaries and bonuses BEFORE talking about a tax hike...

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Lol if at first you don't succeed, try try the exact same thing again!!

6 ( +7 / -1 )

It would be queer if the LDP do not lose power after such a unpopular move! It happened to the DP in 2012, and would certainly happen to LDP. If not, I feel like the voters have given the DP no reason for letting them down in the 2012 election!!

What you did to the DP-party in 2012 is time to do with the LDP, to proove that you were not wrong when you let down DP in 2012!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Isn't it odd how highly-paid politicians who got their jobs through nepotism (Kishida, Aso, Abe, et al) always talk of tax increases yet rarely speak of Spending Cuts? Why is that? (Cough salary cough)

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Of course ! The first tax hike did so much good already ! #sarcasm

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Aly Rustom - precisely. Even better if LDP actually followed their promise given to Noda who naively believed Jiminto would actually follow through and cut 60-80 seats from the diet in exchange for that snap election that booted DPJ out.

Anyhow, hope Kishida keeps advocating the tax increase - it will guarantee LDP loosing their majority at worst and loosing government to Koike alliance ( if they get organized by the time the election is called ) at best .

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Every time the raise the consumption tax it is to pay for 'welfare' but at the same time they still continue to reduce the welfare budget.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Japan should cut the cost of its bureaucracy and stop treating the people as if they were ATM's.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Welfare my derriere, this is to increase the military and Japan Inc. construction pork barrel. When are the people going to rise up?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Simon says...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Tax revenues are about 60 trillion yen (including about 15 trillion of consumption tax revenues).

Government expenditure is about 100 trillion yen.

Hiking consumption tax up to 10% would push revenues up to 65 trillion yen.

There would still be a 35 trillion yen hole in the annual budget.

If the option is to keep consumption tax as it is, the government needs to cut 40 trillion yen of annual spending. If the consumption tax is hiked to 10%, the government needs to cut "only" 35 trillion yen.

I'd like to know which 35-40 trillion yen of spending JapanToday readers think should be eliminated. (Those who think the government should continue to run 40 trillion yen annual deficits need not respond.)

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Y'all can start by looking at this:

http://www.mof.go.jp/english/budget/budget/fy2017/03.pdf

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I'd like to know which 35-40 trillion yen of spending JapanToday readers think should be eliminated.

Cut the number of upper and lower house seats. Maybe not by half, but drastically.

Cut the salaries and expense allowances of the remaining members. Drastically.

Put all members of the upper and lower houses on the kokumin nenkin.

Cut the amount of political subsidies, and put a cap on the amount that can be spent per person per election.

Eliminate the omoiyari 'sympathy' budget doled out to the US military in Japan.

Eliminate the whaling subsidies.

Remove the tax/pension/health insurance allowance for non-working/part-time spouses.

Quadruple the tobacco tax.

It might not amount to the full 35-40 trillion, but it would make a dent in it. And be the right thing to do anyways.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Indeed Cleo.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Scrap the maglev Shinkansen and that's 5 trillion yen saved already. With all the tunneling and elevated track, it'll probably cost double that anyway once the work starts. The 15m tsunami wall across large sections of Tohoku is also a huge waste of money. It'll only protect paddies and land where people should not be living anyway (who wants to gamble on wall vs. nature like the last time). It's only estimated at 600M USD, but I would also scrap the rebuilding of the walls at Kumamoto Castle. The castle is a 1960s concrete replica and refusing to pay for it sends a symbolic message that the national taxpayer is not some mug who'll pay for everything. Kumamoto should pay for it themselves if it is that important. There are also plans for huge flood defence projects along some of Japan's rivers that involve "super teibo", 200m plus wide dykes. There are cheaper and more effective ways to deal with nature.

This all said, I am not against the consumption tax per se, only against it being on essential goods like foodstuffs. 10% is still low in global terms for a country with a welfare system. Some people may not believe in safety nets, but I do.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The sensible thing to do, would be to put a high tax on luxury goods. Anyone buying something like a Rolex, or a Lamborgini, can certainly afford to pay extra.

Make necessities like healthy food tax free.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Don't pay for tepco, don't restart NPPs, don't bail out failing private businesses, charge USA to use our bases, cut the military funding...]

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Why not try a renter-state solution? Abolish nearly all domestic taxes and have prefectures charge a fee for natural resource use (lumber, stone, etc)? I hardly ever use the example of Qatar, but they do this with oil primarily. No income tax, no sales tax, etc. Mostly only corporate tax which is still pretty low. Each prefecture would be in control of its natural resources and even have a control on how much may be removed to ensure regrowth. The national govt could tax prefectures directly on percentage of that.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

 "to put its fiscal house in order"

Low inflation with low interest rates and strong but not excessive asset prices are evidence that Japan's "fiscal house" is not facing any great threats.

Japan can pay down its own debt in its own currency held by its own people anytime it wants. But the risk of doing that is recession, even depression, by taking money out of the economy.

We're really talking about moving numbers on a spreadsheet, in a fiat currency regime. None of the risks the debt hawks have cited (hyper inflation!) have come close to coming come true. Because they're wrong.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Alas, no one has shown me 35 trillion yen worth of savings. Measures suggested might be lucky to get to 1 trillion.

In the absence of 35 trillion yen worth of spending restraint, consumption tax would have to be hiked to about 25-30% to flatten out the deficit.

This is the problem. People expect someone else to pay.

Japan's glory days are over, but its middle class is relatively affluent. Japan's middle and upper classes should put up their hands and agree that together they must all accept that they need to pay for themselves now, so that the deficit can be eliminated and debt paid down. Japan can do this if it decides to, and it would start to make Japan great again.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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