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Recurring spending at prefectures and municipalities not counting Tokyo’s 23 wards swelled to a record 93.4 percent of their total tax revenue in fiscal 2007, according to a government report released Tuesday.

The rate of recurring spending, which consists of obligatory items such as personnel costs and equipment purchasing costs, represented an a 2-point increase over fiscal 2006, the 2009 white paper on regional finances says.

The rate of recurring spending shows the latitude a local government can exercise in steering fiscal policy. A rate of around 80 percent is usually seen as ideal for prefectures, while 70 percent to 75 percent is best for municipalities.

The rate for Tokyo was 80.2 percent and more than 90 percent for the remaining 46 prefectures. In Tochigi, Chiba, Osaka and Hyogo, for example, the rate topped 100 percent, reflecting the complete rigidity of their finances.

Grants for jobs

The internal affairs minister released details Tuesday of the special grants the central government will make to local governments in March to help create employment.

The grants are provided twice a year in December and March to finance extraordinary spending by local governments. The total for the March payment is ¥679.6 billion, up 1.3 percent from the year before.

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