The government will give out a special child benefit of ¥10,000 to households nationwide with children aged 15 or younger to help offset the consumption tax hike to 8 percent.

According to the Health, Labor and Welfare Minister, the one-time cash handout is one of the government’s short-term measures to soften the blow of the tax hike, which takes effect next Tuesday, on household finances.

Other measures include a one-time cash handout of ¥10,000 to every member of a household currently exempt from residential taxes, and an additional ¥5,000 each to pensioners over age 65.

The ministry stressed these are one-time handouts, separate from the monthly child allowance for families with up to a certain income.

For example, a household with two kids will not be eligible if one parent has an annual income of over ¥9.6 million.

Eligible parties must apply to their municipal government for the new handout.

“Although the application deadline for the benefit is left to each municipality to decide, we stated that the application period should be between three to six months,” said the official in charge at the ministry’s Equal Employment, Children and Families Bureau.

“And it is given out only to those who were receiving child allowance as of January 2014,” he added.

The official said that foreign residents can also apply for the one-off payment if they are already receiving child allowance from their local government, and have had legal residence status long enough, as defined by the Immigration Control Act.

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