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New round of stimulus to cushion second tax hike in 2015: Amari

Kyodo

Another round of economic stimulus replete with lush fiscal spending will be set up when the government decides to complete the doubling of the consumption tax to 10 percent in 2015, economic and fiscal policy minister Akira Amari confirmed Sunday.

Amari said the decision on whether to proceed with the second stage of the sales tax hike to 10 percent is expected in December.

The sales tax will rise to 8 percent from 5 percent this April, but a final decision is pending on whether to go ahead with the subsequent 2-point hike scheduled for October 2015.

“We have to take action to avoid negative effects or an economic slowdown as a result of the sales tax increase,” Amari said.

“We have to think of the possible consequences carefully, like we did for the decision to raise it to 8 percent, or even more carefully,” he added.

Earlier on Sunday, Amari said on a TV program on NHK that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will make his decision on the second tax hike more carefully than he did the first, using economic data.

He also said the decision in December will be made after looking at the gross domestic product figures for the July-September quarter and other data.