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The burden of taxes and social welfare costs on individuals will probably fall slightly in fiscal 2003, mainly due to tax cuts designed to boost the economy, the Finance Ministry said Friday.

The total of taxes and social welfare costs to be paid by the public in the fiscal year that starts April 1 is expected to account for 36.1 percent of national income, down from 36.7 percent in the current fiscal year, according to the ministry.

National income is projected at 366.1 trillion yen in fiscal 2003, down from 366.9 trillion yen in fiscal 2002, according to the ministry.

National and local taxes will account for 20.9 percent of total income in fiscal 2003, down from 21.7 percent in fiscal 2002. But the social welfare contribution, which is increasing with the aging of the population, is expected to edge up to 15.2 percent from 15 percent.

If the nation’s ballooning fiscal deficits are factored in, the burden ratio will come to 47.1 percent of total income, down slightly from 47.2 percent in fiscal 2002, according to the ministry.

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