Opposition parties on Wednesday lined up against the government and ruling Democratic Party of Japan, refusing to enter into talks on tax reform and social security with the administration of Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda.
Liberal Democratic Party leader Sadakazu Tanigaki said the government has no right to propose hiking the consumption tax and that Noda must dissolve the lower house and ask for a mandate from the people.
Noda told a news conference on Wednesday that he planned to complete a final draft of the tax and social reform plan which calls for the consumption tax to be doubled, in two phases, from the current 5% to 10% by 2015.
Noda said he hoped to hold talks with opposition parties, which control the upper house of the Diet, next week, and to submit the bill to the Diet by the end of fiscal year, which ends in March.
Noda said the government’s social security costs have been growing steadily and reforms should not be delayed any longer.
However, all the opposition parties rejected the prime minister's plan. Tanigaki said he will not comply with any request by the government to hold talks on the consumption tax, Fuji TV reported.
Other opposition parties that rejected talks with the government include the New Komeito Party, Japan Communist Party, Sunrise Party, Your Party and Social Democratic Party.© Japan Today