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The health and welfare ministry has decided to lower the upper limits of housing allowances for most of the people receiving livelihood protection assistance, starting in fiscal 2015, with the gradual cuts in the total expense to reach ¥3 billion — a 3.5 percent reduction — in the initial year and ¥19 billion in fiscal 2017.

The decision comes on top of the Abe administration’s move from fiscal 2013 to reduce the core part of the livelihood protection scheme, which covers expenses for basic necessities such as food, clothing, fuels and tap water on the grounds of the falling trend of prices — a move that will cut the cost by ¥74 billion in the three years to fiscal 2015.

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