DPJ eyes sales tax pension by ’13

Kyodo News

The Democratic Party of Japan, which looks set to win power in the Aug. 30 general election, is eyeing legislation to set up a minimum basic pension system financed by consumption tax revenues in 2013, DPJ lawmakers said Thursday.

The largest opposition party said in its campaign platform it would establish a basic pension system to guarantee minimum benefits of ¥70,000 per month for all, including those who have paid low premiums.

As the DPJ’s pledge for the basic pension system would require solid financial sources, it will likely rekindle debate over whether to raise the consumption tax.

The party would concentrate on efforts to solve the issue of missing pension records in its first two years in office and submit to an ordinary Diet session in 2013 bills to establish the system, according to the lawmakers.

DPJ President Yukio Hatoyama has made clear that his party would maintain the nation’s consumption tax at 5 percent at least for the four years after taking power in the election.