Masaharu Nakagawa, state minister in charge of the declining birthrate, has been reprimanded for suggesting that the administration is mulling the possibility it won’t be able to raise the consumption tax.
Nakagawa hinted Tuesday that the administration may give up its plan to compile the fiscal 2012 budget while issuing special bonds that would be cashed on expectations of proceeds from a higher consumption tax.
He quickly withdrew the remarks and apologized for causing “misunderstanding”after Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura telephoned to give him a verbal warning that he should be “careful with his remarks” at a sensitive time involving Diet deliberations on the budget.
Fujimura then underscored that all members of the Cabinet agree that the administration will ask for cooperation from opposition parties to pass a bill that would enable the issuance of the special debt, which will carry no interest.
Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has vowed to double the 5 percent sales tax in 2015 to help finance surging social security costs while trying to mend the government’s battered coffers.