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Private-sector advisers urge budget cuts

JIJI

Private-sector members of a key government panel are proposing that some ¥3 trillion in spending be cut from the requested amount of the fiscal 2014 budget and that planned social security outlays possibly be reconsidered, sources said Thursday.

The four members of the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy, including Japan Research Institute Chairman Susumu Takahashi, plan to present the proposal at a meeting Friday of the panel, which is chaired by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The move is aimed at ensuring Japan achieves its goal of halving the proportion of the primary budget deficit relative to gross domestic product by the end of fiscal 2015 from fiscal 2010 levels.

Overall budget requests for the government’s general account for fiscal 2014 total ¥99.25 trillion. Of them, the proposal seeks a drastic rethink of ¥75 trillion requested for policy spending, such as social security costs.

The proposal would also set aside some ¥1 trillion for priority measures designed to stimulate private demand and promote technological innovations, including pro-growth measures and disaster-reduction steps.

The government plans to adopt a basic budget policy in early December after discussions at the council.