The Board of Audit on Nov. 2 announced that it found 513 cases of wasteful use of public money by government organizations in the settlement of accounts for fiscal 2011, with the value of such wasteful use totaling some ¥529.6 billion — the second highest on record. Because the board was not able to study all the items, it can be assumed that a larger amount of public money has been improperly used.

The government plans to raise the consumption tax rate from the current 5 percent to 8 percent from April 2014, increasing people’s financial burden. Unless the government carefully examines the current way of asking for and using budget money by government organizations, and makes serious efforts to reduce wasteful spending, people will not accept the planned consumption tax raise. The government also should be aware of the possibility that the tax hike will break the recovery of the Japanese economy, which has been suffering from a long period of deflation.

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