Business

Japan budget requests for fiscal 2020 on way to record-high ¥105 trillion

JIJI

General-account budget requests from government agencies and ministries for fiscal 2020 are expected to set a new record near ¥105 trillion, it has been learned.

The all-time high is ¥102.7 trillion for fiscal 2019, which began in April.

The anticipated rise reflects growing debt-serving costs and a rise in social security spending, including for medical services, public pensions and child-rearing support, sources familiar with the matter said Wednesday.

The budget requests are on course to top ¥100 trillion for the sixth consecutive year.

The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry is expected to seek ¥12.1 trillion for running the public pension system, ¥11.8 trillion for the health insurance system and ¥3.3 trillion for elderly care.

The Finance Ministry is planning to increase its request for funds to cover debt-servicing costs by ¥387.2 billion, raising the total to a whopping ¥24.9 trillion.

The ministries and agencies must submit their requests by the end of the month, with the full-fledged budget compilation work to start later.

In addition, a special request quota will be set up for economic stimulus measures to help cushion the hike in the consumption tax to 10 percent from 8 percent in October, which will likely lead to a surge in budget spending.

The general-account budget is therefore expected to top ¥100 trillion for the second consecutive year.

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