Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida instructed his ruling party executives to consider introducing temporary tax cuts, days before two special elections in which his ruling party faces tough opposition to hold onto its seats.
(Bloomberg) — Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida instructed his ruling party executives to consider introducing temporary tax cuts, days before two special elections in which his ruling party faces tough opposition to hold onto its seats.
“I instructed that measures be considered to return something to the people, including income tax cuts,” Kishida told reporters after meeting the policy chiefs of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its junior coalition partner Komeito late on Friday. He added he had asked for the policies to be drawn up quickly.
The move comes even as the deeply indebted country seeks ways to pay for its biggest defense expansion since World War II and vows to expand support for families to levels comparable to those provided in Sweden.
LDP tax chief Yoichi Miyazawa told reporters a period of one year would be “common sense” for such a tax cut. Komeito policy chief Yosuke Takagi said a flat rebate, irrespective of income, would be appropriate.
Japan PM’s Support at Lowest Yet Ahead of Special Elections
Polling on voting intentions shows the opposition is ahead in a race for an upper house seat on the island of Shikoku, while LDP retains a narrow lead in a lower house constituency in the southwestern prefecture of Nagasaki, according to polling by the Yomiuri newspaper and other media.
Support for Kishida’s cabinet slumped to 29% from 37% the previous month in a poll carried out by the Asahi newspaper last weekend, the lowest since he took office two years ago. A slew of other media polls have also put his approval at its lowest ever.
Japan Inflation Slows Below 3% in Line With BOJ Price View
Voters are dissatisfied with the steps Kishida’s taken to shield them from the effects of inflation, polls have shown. Those measures include expanding and extending gasoline subsidies to the end of the year. At the same time, a poll by NHK this month showed three-quarters of respondents were uneasy about the country’s fiscal situation.
More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com
©2023 Bloomberg L.P.