Azumi suggests budget concession


Finance Minister Jun Azumi indicated Tuesday that the administration and ruling coalition may give in to opposition parties on measures to pay for the budget, at a time when Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda wants their support for the planned consumption tax hikes.

Azumi suggested the administration may drop the idea of issuing special bonds that would help delay booking actual spending and make its general account budget look smaller.

It is highly likely the opposition camp would block the government from passing a bill to issue the bonds, which would secure funds for the government to keep its 50 percent contribution, or ¥2.6 trillion, to the nation’s basic pension benefits.

Counting on unrealized revenues from the potential consumption tax hikes to service the bonds has also triggered criticism from the opposition.