Measures to boost the sluggish economy should focus on recovering consumer confidence through tax incentives, such as easing welfare and education burdens through taxation measures, Shigeru Ito, secretary general of the Social Democratic Party, said Oct. 15.During a meeting of key members of the ruling alliance — the Liberal Democratic Party, SDP and New Party Sakigake — Ito criticized the emergency economic measures under consideration by the LDP, saying they seem too focused on businesses. “The main concern of this slow economy is weak consumer spending. We need to give consumers something that will make them feel confident toward the future,” Ito told reporters after the meeting.The LDP is now trying to draw up a set of economic stimulus measures focusing on the deregulation of land transactions. While some key LDP members think the issuance of deficit-covering government bonds is unavoidable, a view in contrast to their earlier stance, Ito said the government should first make more efforts in cutting state spending.

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