If the government is really interested in fiscal health of Japan, a hike in the consumption tax is not the answer.

The Japanese economy is based on an enormous amount of waste of citizens’ taxes. The simple solution is to raise the consumption tax. It is easy to spend someone else’s money.

Has the government looked at ways other than depleting the pockets of the ordinary citizens who are working to make ends meet. Food is a basic necessity, why do we need to pay any tax on food? The price of food has gone up continuously while taxes are going up; is there any end to the squeeze the people need to feel? The tax needs to go back to 5 percent.

Stop making references to places that do tax food! In New York City there is no tax on food in supermarkets and somehow the cash registers are able to figure that out. It was outrageous to hear the government representative say it would take too much time to retool cash registers!

Officials lament about where they can find the billions of yen lost by not raising the tax. Here is a list of a few ways:

Close down the Monju reactor that has been draining the economy since 1986. It is like putting money down the toilet — taxpayers’ money! We can’t retrieve the ¥3 trillion already lost, but at least we can stop the spending.

The Board of Audit has said it found some ¥156.8 billion in wasteful spending by the government and affiliated bodies in fiscal 2014. That is only what was reported. I wonder how much more there is?

Then how about reducing the number of politicians. Here is a big waste of money! Don’t have unnecessary elections just to show their power.

Finally, stop having wasteful, meaningless meetings to discuss how we can implement a consumption tax of only 8 percent on food. Just do it.

Geraldine Tsuyuki

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

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