Natsuo Yamaguchi, leader of the ruling Liberal-Democratic Party's coalition partner, the Komeito Party, says a panel will begin discussions later this month on legislation to reduce the sales tax on daily essentials such as food and other products when the next hike is implemented in April 2017.
Yamaguchi said he hopes the legislation will be ready to be enacted in the Diet by next autumn, TV Asahi reported Saturday.
The sales tax had been scheduled to be increased from 8% to 10% next October, but it was delayed until April 2017 by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in November.
Last April, when the tax went up from 5% to 8%, the government came under pressure from consumer groups urging that daily necessities such as food and medicine should either be exempt or subjected to a lower tax rate so as to ease the burden on households.
The LDP and Komeito made the new policy part of their campaign platform in the lead-up to the lower house election on Dec 14.
Speaking to reporters on Friday, Yamaguchi did not say by how much the sales tax will be reduced or exactly what items will be involved.© Japan Today