Maehara open to lower tax on food

Kyodo

Democratic Party of Japan policy chief Seiji Maehara said Sunday that lower tax rates on daily necessities are worth discussing in the Diet, which launched deliberations on the ruling party’s tax reform legislation two days earlier.

Maehara was commenting on a reform proposal submitted by opposition lawmakers from the Liberal Democratic Party and its ally, New Komeito, to introduce lower rates for daily necessities, such as food items. The issue is likely to become one of the key points of the debate in the Diet.

As lawmakers grapple with the DPJ’s social security and tax reform plan, which includes a proposal to double the sales tax in stages to 10 percent by October 2015, the proposal to apply a lower tax rate to food and other necessities “is a subject that should be dealt with flexibly and is worth considering,” Maehara told Fuji TV on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Takeshi Noda, who heads the conservative LDP’s tax system research commission, told NHK on Sunday that the opposition party was looking to present part of its counterproposal for social security and tax reform by the end of May.