Finance Ministry's 2004 budget plan will make people pay more

The Koizumi Cabinet on December 20 approved the Finance Ministry's budget plan for fiscal 2004 which was proposed to ministries and agencies. The plan will be made into a government draft budget after ministerial negotiations.

The draft budget is compiled on the assumption that burdens on the people will continue to increase for more than 10 years to come. The government will issue a record high amount of new national bonds amounting to 36 trillion yen. The national bonds will account for 44.6 percent of the general account budget's revenue side, the record high dependence and a tie with FY 2003.

In a published statement on the same day, Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Ichida Tadayoshi said that the budget plan is living proof that the Koizumi structural reform imposes more hardships on the people and aggravates the economic and fiscal crisis.

Pointing out that the ruling Liberal Democratic and Komei parties are calling for the consumption tax rate to be increased in FY 2007 and that the people will be forced to shoulder an extra 3 trillion yen burden in the coming three years due to the adverse "pension system reform" in addition to the extra 4 trillion yen burden, Ichida said that such a burden on the people is intolerable.

Ichida said: "The need is to draft a budget that would increase funding for economic recovery and the well-being of the people, including social services and jobs." He said that the JCP demands that a national budget be compiled to benefit the people by cutting wasteful expenditures. (end)

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