Cabinet approves fiscal draft 2002 budget with increased burdens on the people

The Koizumi Cabinet on December 24 approved the draft national budget for
fiscal 2002 that includes items forcing the people to pay more for medical
care and education despite the fact that further declines in personal
spending is forecast.

The draft budget will be discussed in the Ordinary Session of the Diet
starting in January 2002.

In a published statement on the same day, Fudesaka Hideyo, Japanese
Communist Party Policy Commission chair, pointed out that the draft budget,
if enacted, will be a catastrophe for the nation's economy and the people's
livelihoods. He said that the JCP is determined to struggle for the budget
to be completely recompiled.

Fudesaka expressed concern that the budget retains wasteful public works
projects and the framework of using public money for helping failing major
banks; and increases military expenditures, and on the other hand, increases
the people's share of medical costs; abolishes the tax-exempt savings system
for elderly people; increases tuition fees of state universities; and
decreases scholarships and child care allowances for single parents. (end)