In 2002 budget request, spending for people's livelihood will be uniformly cut by 10 percent

The Koizumi Cabinet on August 10 decided on the government's budget
request for 2002, by which spending for the people's livelihood will be cut
10 percent across the board.

In the government explanation, "cutting five trillion yen in
nonperforming sectors and funding 2 trillion yen in essential sectors will
save three trillion yen." However, public investment which is dubbed
"nonperforming" include many items essential to the people's living, such as
welfare, education, and budgets for small- and medium-sized enterprises.
Medical and other social service budgets need an increase of at least 1
trillion yen to maintain the system, but the budget is cut by 300 billion

The fund for public works projects is to be cut by 1 trillion yen.
Finance Minister Shiokawa Masajuro, however, said, "The volume of projects
will get smaller only a little bit."

Japanese Communist Party Policy commission Chair Fudesaka Hideyo on the
day published a statement criticizing the budget framework. He said that the
need in drafting the next year's budget request is the change of the
government's fiscal policy into one of "giving priority to the people's
livelihood. Fudesaka said the JCP will make efforts in this direction of
seeking economic recovery compatible with efforts to rehabilitate national
finances. (end)