National / Politics

LDP No. 2 Tanigaki hints at need for extra budget to cover planned sales tax hike

Kyodo

Ruling Liberal Democratic Party Secretary-General Sadakazu Tanigaki on Sunday hinted at the need for the government to compile a supplementary budget for the current fiscal year to next March as a step to raise the consumption tax rate to 10 percent in October 2015 as scheduled.

Speaking on a TV program that aired Sunday morning, Tanigaki said that “the time may come when the government needs to consider an extra budget” for the additional consumption tax hike, which was raised from 5 percent to 8 percent last April 1.

Tanigaki, the effective No. 2 man in the LDP, which is led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, indicated that it may become necessary for the government to submit an economic stimulus package to the Diet during its ordinary session from early next year.

Tanigaki earlier said the tax should be raised as scheduled, noting that although the government can address risks stemming from the tax hike by various means, “it will be difficult to cope with risks arising from the failure to raise the tax.”

He reiterated the view Sunday, contending that he is concerned about risks that could arise should the tax not be raised. The government should take measures to make the tax hike possible, he said.

The government aims to raise the tax partly to cover snowballing social security costs amid the graying of society and the declining birth rate.

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