PM urges opponents to cooperate in passing consumption tax bill


Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda on Friday urged opposition parties as well as members of his own Democratic party of Japan (DPJ) to cooperate in passing a contentious bill to hike the consumption tax to 10% by 2015.

Friday's deliberations in the lower house of the Diet are part of discussions on a set of seven bills on social security and tax reform. Noda has said he intends to stake his political career on getting the bills passed during the current Diet session which ends on June 21.

But he faces a rocky road with opposition to the unpopular tax hike both inside and outside the DPJ. Noda is playing a balancing act between keeping his fragile coalition together and seeing through the bill's passage.

Speaking in the Diet, the prime minister said that the future of Japan's economy rests on tackling its public debt while financing an increasingly expensive social welfare system.

He said a big river separates the two sides but added that the public expects them to build a bridge.

"We must create a society in which people can be assured that tomorrow will be better than today," he said. "We must weigh the sustainability of social security. Everybody has fears about their post-retirement years. We must remove these fears and that is the most important point of this reform.

"Now it is time for the whole Diet to make a decision without any postponement, strictly for the benefit of people."

Besides the opposition LDP and New Komeito, the DPJ's former head and major political power broker Ichiro Ozawa, who leads the party's anti-tax group, is against the tax hike.

Opposition parties said that if Noda can't persuade his own party to approve the tax hike, then he should reconsider his stance.

Noda said the extra revenue is needed to cover Japan's snowballing social welfare costs, including public pensions and a universal health insurance system in a country that boasts one of the world's highest life expectancy rates.

Only about 40% of what the government currently spends comes from taxes.

The rest is financed by borrowing, leaving Japan's debt at more than double gross domestic product, with analysts warning that only higher tax revenue or spending cuts can bridge the gap.

© Japan Today/AFP

©2023 GPlusMedia Inc.

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It will pass. If it doesn't, their bloated gov't salaries and cheap housing are in jeopardy.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

As I mentioned before over and over, you guys need to pass this bill. Otherwise, there will be a huge consequence for Japan and Japanese I warn you very politely..

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Public expects them to " build a bridge" to pass this for the " benefit of the people"..? Oh please , pass me a tissue..How about listening to what the people actually want instead of using these hollow phrases for once? Noda,s old work buddies - the finance ministry bureaucrats are the only ones who want the increase. Majority of people are opposed to the increase and would prefer the DPJ govt actually do what it promised at the last election - which is to cut bureaucratic waste first in order to free up the huge amount of taxpayers money it currently sucks up. Then talk about raising taxes if you still need to....

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Majority of people are opposed to the increase?

Because they do not understand the consequences. The truth is Japan is BROKE big time! Face it!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

dead broke they are, they just relay on the trust of its people who buy those worthless goverment bonds each year...

if the japanese people, who own 95% of the goverments debt would understand this than it would be game over in a minute.

220% debt to GDP the worse in the world and this snowball system only works cos people are so manipulated and controlled and i think japan rather would disappear from the earth than people or goverment would open up to new ideas.

stubborn times 100

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yes, let's all go down with the economic ship. That way it can be blamed on everyone. The passage of this tax is the beginning of the end. No need to wait 1000 years as the other JT story says.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

noriyosan, the passage of this tax is maybe a chance to direct the sinking ship in a different direction. i would put this tax up to 20% as soon as possible like it is in any other western country all ready.

next i would put alcohol and cigarette tax up by 50% like it is all ready in any western country....

with this money i could fix many problems... this will not happen cos all the politicians smoke and drink anyway.

but anyway, it doesnt matter what they do this huge amount of debt can never ever be repaid anyway and just the interest on it will eat a huge hole in every years budget. just this year they used 49% of the whole budget to keep this bond snowball system alive.


-2 ( +0 / -2 )

another option is go argentines way and declare bankruptsy and the yen will lose its value and they bring in new currency and start all over again. this could also happen in the future if there is no way out and all other resources are exploited.

no point in saving money folks.... spend it now when you still get something for this paper piece which just exists only on trust.

real value of money is zero cos its just a piece of paper nothing more.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How much money totally have I paied for this country? And who did use them? Do you need more?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@globalwatcher - people understand the consequences just fine - the govt. propaganda has been running the scenarios on TV for months...my point is people would accept it much more readily if they saw the govt . actually sticking to its promises and tightening its own belt ( and gosh do we all know how much tightening that can do with all the waste of money going around ) first! Before slugging the population with another tax increase whilst continuing wasting the taxpayer money on the very same things they promised to eliminate...The govt. should lead by example if it wants the people to follow.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How about cutting TEPCO salaries - no bonuses - first? They'd still be earning more than a lot of citizens who are also facing a 10% hike in the consumption tax...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

They need to start by cutting the BIG government salaries. At the end of this I see one of these two things happening-(1) hike in consumption tax or (2) new Prime Minister

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"How about cutting TEPCO slaries - no bonuses- first?"

TEPCO employees will receive no bonuses this summer.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"The passage of this tax is the beginning of the end"

This is foreboding...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@globalwatcher - people understand the consequences just fine

I do not believe so. If not passed, if I were you, I would pull savings from the banks as fast as I could just like many rich Greek, Spanish and Italian do. Within 4 years, Japanese yen will be a worthless paper.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

globalwatcher: correct !!! yen will not make it until most of us retire....

same with dollar or euro...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@avantarinac, let's hope not. Under correct fiscal reform and monetary policy, you can still avoid it. I still believe in you! You can do it! Let's bring hope, dream and future back to your hands. But, you need to take many correct actions.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

avantarinac and I have given Japanese a 60 million dollars advice here. It depends on you how you take it or not. The truth hurts, but losng your life long savings hurts you even more.Do you wanna be on street and hungry?

Please, please come to senses. Let's hope all politicians do what is the best interest for Japanese and Japan. Let's stop these politicians who are only thinking about their next elections.You have a power. You can vote them out. They know NOTHING and they are careless about you.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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