• Kyodo News


The Liberal Democratic Party submitted a new fiscal consolidation bill Tuesday to the Diet as part of its efforts to press the administration to review its budget plan for fiscal 2011.

The main opposition party submitted a fiscal consolidation bill to the Lower House last year that had been pending. The LDP upgraded the bill by adding a clause that would require the government to secure stable financial resources for the budget for the next fiscal year starting in April.

The latest bill, submitted this time to the opposition-controlled Upper House, comes as Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s Democratic Party of Japan faces an uphill battle in passing the budget and related bills by the March 31 end of the current fiscal year.

At a time when Kan is finding it difficult to demonstrate his leadership in the divided Diet, the LDP and other opposition parties have been intensifying pressure on his administration, saying the budget plan, entailing a record ¥92 trillion in spending, is rife with wasteful and ineffective measures.

As before, the bill demands that tax reform and other legislative action be taken by fiscal 2011 to secure stable financial resources for social security, including for pension benefits and health care, as well as for steps to tackle the falling birthrate.

It would set a goal of achieving a primary budget surplus by fiscal 2020 and require the government to prepare a five-year fiscal restoration plan every year for Diet approval.

Later in the day, Yoshimasa Hayashi, deputy policy chief of the LDP, told reporters that the bill is aimed at carving a road map for rehabilitation of the debt-ridden government.

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