Economic and fiscal policy minister Akira Amari on Tuesday urged ministries and agencies to cooperate in finalizing by early December an economic stimulus package aimed at easing the negative impact of a planned sales tax hike next year.
“The new economic package would be aimed at preventing the consumption tax hike from hurting the economy and at bringing the economy back to a growth path as soon as possible,” Amari said at a press conference.
The package — the key pillars of which are strengthening industrial competitiveness and making infrastructure more resilient to natural disasters — would be worth 6 trillion yen, including 1 trillion yen in tax cuts to invigorate business investment, Amari said.
To fund the stimulus package, an extra budget for this fiscal year through March 2014 is expected to be compiled in mid-December.
Amari said Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government, which has pledged to promote fiscal rehabilitation, has no plan to issue additional bonds in fiscal 2013, as tax revenues are likely to grow on the back of the nascent economic recovery.
“I believe it would be possible (to finance the package) without issuance of new government debt,” Amari said.
The stimulus package would entail steps such as employment support for young people and women, as well as subsidies for smaller firms to accelerate reconstruction in areas ravaged by the March 2011 disaster, government officials said.