The secretary general of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party indicated Saturday that he thinks it is desirable for the government to raise the consumption tax rate to 10 percent in October 2015 from the current 8 percent as scheduled.
Speaking on a TV program aired in the morning, Sadakazu Tanigaki said that although the government can address risks stemming from the tax hike by various means, “it will be difficult to cope with risks arising from the failure to raise the tax.”
Tanigaki, the effective No. 2 man in the LDP led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, also said the government will need to closely monitor economic trends to decide on the consumption tax hike.
The government raised the consumption tax by 3 percentage points to 8 percent on April 1 as the first round of the two-stage tax hike plan, dampening Japan’s economic growth in the April-June quarter.
The government aims to raise the tax partly to cover snowballing social security costs amid the graying society and declining birth rate.
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