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Gov't considers support for low-income earners in new economic package

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Kishida, who places importance on wealth redistribution, told a cabinet meeting that the government will "reduce tax and social security burdens on top of providing various benefits," at a time when Japan's fiscal health remains the worst among developed nations.

Not trying to be too cynical but given the usual LDP vagueness and judging by past performance I wonder what form this would take.

And Kishida placing importance on wealth redistribution is definitely an unproven thesis. Unless the redistribution is from the public to corporate investors in the form of the unending parade of corporate welfare subsidies under New Capitalism.

The absurdly low income threshold for government assistance/tax relief should have been addressed long ago.

There are too many full time contract workers paying the whole slew of residence/pension/health care taxes when their take home pay puts them barely above the poverty line.

17 ( +28 / -11 )

Another useless ¥30,000 to win the votes of the feeble minded?

-2 ( +26 / -28 )

All those packages are only increasing the debt, act like a band-aid and do not cure anything

12 ( +19 / -7 )

16 million low-income households were eligible for payouts of 50,000 yen in September last year, totaling 854 billion yen in government expenditure.

That payout is it monthly? No is one time only, so how it will really help with all daily price increase?

https://asia.nikkei.com/Economy/Inflation/Grocery-bills-in-Japan-keep-rising-as-price-hikes-hit-3-500-plus-items

https://www.timeout.com/tokyo/news/tokyo-will-increase-train-and-subway-fares-in-march-2023-120622

-7 ( +15 / -22 )

I personally believe in universal basic income

2 ( +18 / -16 )

Not to mention the minimum wage which is comparable with developing nations and is the 2nd lowest of the G7 members.

The politicians know what they should do but they don’t

-5 ( +15 / -20 )

The Japanese government and ruling party are considering 

Banging head against the wall..... I get the government not wanting to spoon feed people and have them living off the welfare check, BUT until the government gets off it's proverbial arses and makes it possible for people to earn a LIVING wage, they are morally responsible for making assistance available to everyone!

Not "considering"....DO IT!

8 ( +14 / -6 )

4.2% inflation….? Yeah, no!

try 20% plus. Japan post domestic shipping rates will jump 20% on Oct 1st.

-3 ( +14 / -17 )

Remember we were always being told that the interest rates were being kept super low so that Japan would finally get out of its deflationary spiral. Ok, now that inflation is rising and much more than the 2% they kept saying was ideal, and I don't believe the 4.7%, it is much higher, why doesn't the BOJ start raising rates to offset the US rate hikes and then helping the yen recover, thus making things cheaper for people in Japan. Because they can't due to the huge amount of debt they are servicing! They are screwed as area all of us!

19 ( +24 / -5 )

So, the government will pay income to workers that their private-sector employers refuse to pay. That's a really dumb idea, especially since the corporates have more money and profits now than in their entire history, and also from a government that recently cut the corporate tax while hiking the tax on consumers.

In the end, it's more corporate welfare.

All those packages are only increasing the debt

What's really "increasing the debt" is Softbank having the most profitable year in Japan's history and then not having to pay any national tax on its earnings. When workers get a handout they spend it on food, education, etc. with the money circulating within the economy. When corporations get handouts, then tend to hoard it or send it to the Cayman Islands.

15 ( +23 / -8 )

“relief measures for low-income households”

The question is how low is low enough to be eligible for relief payments and where to draw the line.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

Japan is doomed - Kishida basically begging for companies to relocate, and invest in Japan, while the yen turns into monopoly money and peoples savings get decimated. I am so glad I sent all my yen overseas long back. Imagine having to pay off a foreign mortgage or supporting family members back home with the yen now turning into a 3rd world currency. At least in other countries, banks are now willing to pay 5 or 6 percent interest for savings. In Japan, still only between 1 or 2 percent. Like I said, the place is doomed.

-8 ( +16 / -24 )

These policies will only serve to weaken the yen, causing more inflation and more pain for those the govt thinks it’s helping.

5 ( +14 / -9 )

How about reducing their own pay and perks and feel what everyone else is feeling? Maybe then these clowns will understand what's going on. Doubt it though....like always, they'll just throw money at the wall and try and solicit votes. Seen this rerun too many times...

14 ( +16 / -2 )

Kishida, who places importance on wealth redistribution, …

“Redistribution” implies a wealth shift from the haves to the have nots. Do the haves, like the Kishida and Aso families, ever reduce their take of the pie so that others can have more?

12 ( +14 / -2 )

The economic package will consist of five pillars -- … and (5) securing the safety and security of the Japanese people.

All the respect in the world to Japan’s police and the nation’s educational system for maintaining a relatively safe society, but I do find it fascinating how the police and military continually slide their fingers into the economic stimulus jar.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

These policies will only serve to weaken the yen, causing more inflation and more pain for those the govt thinks it’s helping.

The yen is about where it is supposed to be. It should never be even to the US dollar.

It's always a cycle. When (if) japan comes up with some new technology the yen will strengthen. The problem now I there are many more asian countries competing and driving the world economy.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

Wage growth. My wife got a five yen/hr raise each year for the last five years. Thanks but a 25 yen boost hasn't been quite enough.

8 ( +16 / -8 )

So, the government will pay income to workers that their private-sector employers refuse to pay.

Exactly.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

I have been hearing the same slander ever since this guy took office and yet we still have no concise plan on how he is going to fund all of this!

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Kishida, who places importance on wealth redistribution,

Well, there's nothing new here: they all do - for themselves and their wealthy patrons. The idea of redirecting the flow of money down to the toiling masses has been out of favor since the days of Ron & Yasu two score and three years ago. Can the beast change its spots? Universal basic income will have to wait until capitalism is backed into the corner.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

You can give everyone an 8%~10% increase in purchasing power by getting rid of the consumption tax, the most regressive tax there is. Nope. It'll never happen. It's too simple for the LDP to understand.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

The government will also encourage investment in strategic sectors such as semiconductors.

The Japanese are good craftsman, dating back thousands of years. We should encourage more investing in hand crafted goods since they will become more valuable in an automated world. Think Hermes.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Considering is not implementing. Just a vote grubbing statement after his popularity fell below 50%. Nothing more!

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

More considering and thoughtful debate ...The LDP is a joke.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

Never focusing on the real problems but rather band-aids. Pure incompetence!

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

what?! You mean......Abenomics......didn't work?! But...but....the abenomasks!!

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

Wage growth. My wife got a five yen/hr raise each year for the last five years. Thanks but a 25 yen boost hasn't been quite enough.

lucky her.....I have had zero

5 ( +8 / -3 )

The government has money available to shift to domestic support.

I believe the public would fully support reducing foreign aid and loans.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

A 30000 yen handout here, a bunch of coupons there - it won’t make the slightest difference. Governments across the world have to find ways to completely reverse, not just slow down or stop, the massive transfers of wealth from the lower and middle classes to the top 0.1% that have occurred over the last 20 years or so.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

The minimum wage in Japan is absurdly low.

The pound to yen equivalent in the UK is about 1700 yen per hour.

Food prices are much lower too.

Electrical and gas have increased worldwide so no difference there.

Also inflation has risen in the UK like all countries, but savings rates have rocketed to over 6% interest.

For some reason Japan has become a financial third world country , even India shows more financial growth.

The government pension of 65,000 yen a month is probably equal to the lowest rate of any of the G7 countries and beyond.

Who the hell can survive on this, especially if paying rent.

Once again the UK basic pension is around 130,000 yen per month.

Cost of living payments have been falling into people's bank accounts every 3 months, alot more than 50,000 yen each time too.

Japan is in a serious financial position and definitely not one to be born into at the present time.

1 ( +10 / -9 )

So, Kashida san is [just] considering to assist the people of Japan during this time of economic crisis that the Japanese Government created over 30 years ago - however the Japanese Government conveniently have the funds to purchase Tomahawk missiles worth about 211.3 billion yen in 2023.

Does anyone find this odd?

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

Good job Kishida! Take care of the Japanese people.

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

Kishida said Japan is at a critical phase of shifting from a "cost-cut" economy to one with a virtuous cycle of pay hikes and proactive corporate investment.

These "pay hikes" are often only for big companies, and with a large percentage of people on short-term contracts this means very little. The government needs to raise wages for the masses, so everyone can live a decent life, rather than wait until things get so bad that people need handouts just to afford the basics. Handouts are indicative of a much bigger problem that needs to be addressed at the source.

JeffLeeToday 07:39 am JST

So, the government will pay income to workers that their private-sector employers refuse to pay.

This is exactly the point. If private-sector employers remunerated their employees properly, "support for low-income earners" wouldn't be necessary in the first place. In the current situation, the companies get richer, people at the bottom get poorer, and people in the middle pay more taxes. Making companies pay better, instead of hoarding profits, would solve this.

It would also ensure that Japanese companies stay competitive in a globally-connected world. Previously, almost all Japanese people were satisfied working in Japan, but now they can see what's happening in other countries, so the good/motivated people move for better jobs, thus gradually degrading the Japanese economy.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Inflation is on the rise because of profligate government spending and loose monetary policy.

Government: Let’s spend even more to combat the inflation that we created!

LOL…you can’t make this stuff up.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Well, if its a choice between this and jacking up interest rates to "crush inflation", I choose this. Its more humane and probably more effective in creating a happy society.

Two million people in the UK rely on charity for food. Millions admit to missing meals to save money. The worst thing is that people accept it and do not treat it as scandalous.

As for the relief payments, they are all one-off, not monthly. Its not hard to qualify for some of them if are self-employed, pay yourself very little, and put big ticket things on expenses.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The politicians know what they should do but they don’t

I don’t think they do.

they have no clue about anything or how to solve any problem.

all they know how to do is make template comments and approve ignorant policies.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

Support means almost nothing good, because in fact it is even keeping them being low-income earners. I guess what all those people need and what is also better for all economy and acting against accelerated shrinking and aging childless society is that they all get a normal average or higher income at least.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

The Japanese government and ruling party are considering including relief measures for low-income households........................Of course the main word here is 'Considering'.......Stop considering, stop talking, and just do it. .........Oh and introduce a new 10-20% wealth tax.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Let me guess, minimum wage going up from 760 yen per hour to 810 yen per hour?

-8 ( +8 / -16 )

"look, guys, we'll consider it. But it depends how much we are further in debt after trillions more in defense spending from your taxes and giving millions in aid to other nations to help their poor."

-9 ( +7 / -16 )

Some people can’t have children because of medical reasons and they are excluded from financial aids… discrimination!

Some people work 2 or 3 different part time jobs just to make their ends meet since they have many expenses. In the process of doing these 2 or 3 jobs they cross over the low level income margin… again no financial aid for them! The Government punishes hardworking people!

The Government using everyone’s tax money to just give a few extra yen to a few selected people isn’t fair.

It’s not only the low income earners and families with children who are suffering these days but also the middle class ( average households ) who suffer equally!

Any form of financial aid should be given across the board to all citizens who earn less than ( Let’s say as a reference ) 7.5million yen = US$50,000 ( $ 50,000 salary is sort of poor people in the USA ) per year! The hardworking people in Japan deserve better from the Government!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

This is a hidden subsidy given to those companies paying their employees less than a living wage. Raise the minimum wage to 1500 yen nationally and to 2000 yen in Tokyo. Tax the companies that layoff employees to fund the unemployment funds. Businesses will adapt as long as they are forced into action, otherwise we'll live with the status quo for the rest of our lives.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Any form of financial aid should be given across the board to all citizens who earn less than ( Let’s say as a reference ) 7.5million yen = US$50,000 ( $ 50,000 salary is sort of poor people in the USA ) per year! 

That's probably less than what teachers in Japan make. US$50,000. That's probably around average (maybe a little less than that) is what US teachers make. So, you see why many US teachers take on 2nd jobs to make ends meat, if they can without suffering burnout and stress.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Helicopter money won't help. Kishida is robbing Peter to pay Paul.

Of course, it's not HIS wealth he wants to redistribute. Hypocrite!

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Five pillars, 4 chairs, 2 tables, and a nail.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Remember we were always being told that the interest rates were being kept super low so that Japan would finally get out of its deflationary spiral. Ok, now that inflation is rising and much more than the 2% they kept saying was ideal, and I don't believe the 4.7%, it is much higher, why doesn't the BOJ start raising rates to offset the US rate hikes and then helping the yen recover, thus making things cheaper for people in Japan. Because they can't due to the huge amount of debt they are servicing! They are screwed as area all of us!

Absolutely spot on.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Except for Canola Oil, I find inflation here very low.

I spent the ¥30,000 and ¥50,000 on travel. GoToTravel coupons were fantastic as well.

Perhaps because I saw the big picture and put most money into dollars before retiring here, the ¥145 to the dollar has been fabulous for people like me.

Everyone takes their own roads. Some win and some lose.

However, the hourly rate of workers here is terrible, and screwing them out of health and pension by putting them at 29 hours a week is horrible.

The elite sitting in office do not care about the common folk and that is sad.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

CuteUsagi

Except for Canola Oil, I find inflation here very low.

Over the past year, inflation on all basic items has been 10-15%.

I spent the ¥30,000 and ¥50,000 on travel. GoToTravel coupons were fantastic as well.

You were on low income if you received that money.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Wallace:

There is a huge difference between low income and savings.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

If companies raised wages in response to inflation, workers would not have to worry about making a living, but while many companies are achieving record profits due to the weak yen, very few companies are raising wages. What should we do to deal with this?

Until now, the Liberal Democratic Party has continued to lower corporate taxes, but it needs to raise them. An alternative would be to reduce taxes for individuals.

What the Liberal Democratic Party cannot do is eliminate the consumption tax and restart nuclear power plants.

Furthermore, it would not be possible to eradicate pachinko by creating IRs in various places.

We should also ban foreigners from receiving welfare, which continues despite the Supreme Court ruling that it is unconstitutional.

There are several problems that must be faced if we are to improve the lives of the people, but I do not believe that Prime Minister Kishida or the Liberal Democratic Party can solve them.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

However, the hourly rate of workers here is terrible, and screwing them out of health and pension by putting them at 29 hours a week is horrible.

We’ve had many workers at my company explicitly request to be under 29 hours. In many cases, it’s a housewife who’s on her husband’s insurance. She wants to work, but she doesn’t want to get bumped to her own insurance because that would be more expensive for the family overall. Legions of married women in Japan stick with part-time jobs for this reason.

The others who topically want to stay part-time are often young and single. It’s often far cheaper overall to pay into the national insurance system than it is to have the 14.1% deducted every month (plus the employer pays an equal amount).

It’s not always the employer who is screwing over people. Sometimes the government writes laws in ways that incentivize people to work less, thereby taking home slightly more.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Lots of even more-socialist-than-Kishida policy suggestions here in the comments. Yes maybe Japan needs to become even more socialist, spend even more of other people’s money, and it’s problems will at last be solved!

I like that suggestion of a 10% - 20% wealth tax! Never mind what actually happened in France and Norway after they tried that stuff there.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Lets repeat this cycle again! over and over nothing is going to change relief package to submit another relief package!

As part of a previous inflation relief package, approximately 16 million low-income households were eligible for payouts of 50,000 yen in September last year, totaling 854 billion yen in government expenditure.

In March, local governments were allocated funds for relief payments in which low-income households would receive 30,000 yen each, with another 50,000 yen per child given to low-income earners with children.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

This regime's policy are stopgap, insufficient and too late to help general public.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

They wanna help low wage earners? Raise the minimum wage, enact/enforce overtime pay rules, and actually prosecute employers for wage theft and other illegal labor practices.

Higher wages will not only improve their lives, it will boost spending and improve the economy, and it will increase gov't tax revenue. It's a win-win-win.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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