Japan's Kishida announces $113-bn package to combat inflation pain

To fund part of the spending, the government will compile a supplementary budget for the current fiscal year of 13.1 trillion yen, Kishida said

Yoshifumi TakemotoReuters
Published : 2 Nov 2023, 04:28 AM
Updated : 2 Nov 2023, 04:28 AM

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Thursday the government will spend over 17 trillion yen ($113 billion) in a package of measures to cushion the economic blow from rising inflation, which will include tax cuts.

To fund part of the spending, the government will compile a supplementary budget for the current fiscal year of 13.1 trillion yen, Kishida told reporters.

Reuters reported on Wednesday the government is considering spending over 17 trillion yen for the package, which will include temporary cuts to income and residential taxes as well as subsidies to curb gasoline and utility bills.

Inflation, fuelled by rising costs of raw materials, has kept above the central bank's target of 2% for more than a year, weighing on consumption and clouding the outlook for an economy making a delayed recovery from scars left by COVID-19.

The rising cost of living is partly blamed for pushing down Kishida's approval ratings, piling pressure on the prime minister to take steps to ease the pain on households.

With increases in wages proving too slow to offset rising prices, Kishida had said the government will cushion the blow by returning to households some of the expected increase in tax revenues generated by solid economic growth.