Policymakers from the three ruling parties agreed Monday on the need to compile a supplementary budget for the current fiscal year to help buoy the faltering economy.
The ruling bloc, however, decided to wait for results on the April-June quarter gross domestic product due out in September before deciding on policy measures.
“The government has given its word not to allow minus growth for the full fiscal year, and the ruling parties must discuss the maximum stimulus package,” said Liberal Democratic Party member Fumio Kyuma.
The package will not be in direct opposition to Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s promise to cap new government bond issues at 30 trillion yen, members said.
But worries about painful reforms and rising unemployment surfaced repeatedly in a meeting between policy chiefs from the LDP, New Komeito and the New Conservative Party. The LDP suggested allowing smaller companies with sound businesses to receive a suspension of repayment on claims less than 1 billion yen.
New Komeito called for immediate preparation work on a supplementary budget. Discussion also included tax reforms to encourage private investors to participate in the stock market, spreading information technology infrastructure and safety nets to prevent widespread bankruptcies.
In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.