As widely expected, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida zeroed in on the economy and his government’s resolve to “ seize the flow of change” in a policy address to the plenary session of parliament Oct. 23.
“‘The economy, the economy, the economy.’ I will focus my attention on the economy more than anything else,” Kishida said in opening remarks.
Kishida said that a proposed economic stimulus package currently in the works will consist of two main pillars ― returning the fruits of growth to citizens and strengthening supply capabilities.
Rising prices and a persistently low yen have hit low-income households and further narrowed the room for widespread pay hikes. In this context, the prime minister had long hinted at his desire to return the benefits of increased tax revenues to citizens in some form, prompting speculation about a reduction in income tax or even intervention in the consumption tax.
“A portion of increased tax revenues, the result of growth achieved thanks to the efforts of the people, will be returned in a fair, appropriate manner to ease the burden of high prices on the public,” Kishida said in his speech, without referring to any specific measure. (The Japan Times)