Denizens of the Chubu capital offer their tuppence-worth on the impending 3-percent consumption tax hike to 8 percent from the start of the fiscal year.
Interpreter, 63 (Ecuadorean)
My children are grown up, married and have left home. My household — I, my husband and his mother — survive on the basics and have already cut our living costs. For example, we used to have two cars and two carports; now we have one. I don’t believe the tax will have much impact on us, as we are already living frugally. Rumors circulating about pension cuts are of more concern to us.
Aircraft engineer, 26 (Japanese)
The tax rise is inevitable because of the growing population of older people, but I’m afraid it will put society into a harmful downward spiral. Young people will become poorer, unable to afford to bring up children of their own, increasing the aging of society even more. Nobody likes having less spending power and I am no exception, but I will just have to accept it.
Public relations officer, 34 (Australian)
It is inevitable and a necessity for the government. Obviously I am not happy about it but there is nothing to be done. Things are getting harder for most people in Japan at the moment, with money getting tighter and less disposable income than before. More tax on everything we buy will of course exacerbate the process. I am not planning any big buys to save tax money before April.
Interpreter/translator, 48 (Brazilian)
We can’t do anything to avoid this new expense, which will affect everyone, as wages are not going up in line with the tax. I have a boy of 15 and a girl of 12, so cutting back on important things like education is not an option. One way to save is to think more carefully about which fresh produce to buy, as it goes bad quicker than other food. I may start buying in bulk from my local Brazilian store.
Contract administrator, 25 (Japanese)
Of course I’m not happy about it personally because, for example, if I want to buy an expensive item like a car, I will have to pay extra. However, over the long term, it is good for all Japanese because the government can increase their funds, which they can then use to benefit society. Areas such as education and welfare can get a boost from the increase in funding.
Accountant, 24 (Japanese)
This is a good time for people to think about the cost and quality of public services, paid for by taxes. If there is not enough money from tax, then services will be cut. I think for the levels of service required by society, we need an 8 percent tax, though some people might disagree. I am not going to buy anything luxurious before April. It is no problem for me to have less spending power.
Interested in gathering views in your neighborhood? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org