Japan’s Cabinet on April 20 approved a reworked fiscal 2020 supplementary budget to finance universal cash handouts, expanding the size of a record economic package plan to ¥117.1 trillion aimed at cushioning the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.
In a rare move, the extra budget was reworked and boosted to ¥25.69 trillion from the previously planned ¥16.8 trillion due to a sudden policy shift by the coalition government to provide a cash handout of ¥100,000 per person, including foreign residents.
The spending plan, now expanded from the initial ¥108.2 trillion, includes loan programs and deferred tax payments, and the sum of fiscal spending is ¥48.4 trillion.
The government originally planned to give ¥300,000 to each household whose income had fallen sharply due to the virus outbreak.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told a news conference April 17 he would replace the original plan with the across-the-board ¥100,000 handouts, after coming under pressure from Komeito, the coalition partner of his ruling Liberal Democratic Party.
The extra budget is expected to be submitted to the Diet around April 27, with its enactment likely on May 1.
The cash handouts should begin by the end of May, and people will need to apply for the money via mail or online, officials said. (Kyodo)