Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Heizo Takenaka on Tuesday criticized Finance Minister Sadakazu Tanigaki’s proposal to double the consumption tax.

“The tax would only be needed to be raised substantially if the economy were mismanaged,” he said.

Tanigaki, who announced his candidacy last Thursday for the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s Sept. 20 presidential election, suggested raising the 5 percent consumption tax to at least 10 percent in two stages, with the first coming in April 2009.

He says the rate must be raised to 10 percent by midway into the next decade to get the state’s finances back into shape.

Tax revenue is bound to rise if the economy is managed properly, raising both real and nominal gross domestic product growth, Takenaka said.

“If fiscal expenditures are curbed to an appropriate level, there would be no need to sharply increase the consumption tax,” he said.

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