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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 September 25 - October 1  > JCP publishes appeal calling for cutting consumption tax rate to 5% without delay
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2019 September 25 - October 1 TOP3 [POLITICS]

JCP publishes appeal calling for cutting consumption tax rate to 5% without delay

October 1, 2019

Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo on September 30, on the eve of the consumption tax increase to 10%, condemned the Prime Minister Abe-led government for bulldozing through the consumption tax hike in defiance of the general public’s strong opposition and concerns. He announced an appeal calling for the people to stand up to fight for a lower tax rate and the need for the abolition of this regressive tax system.

The announcement of the JCP appeal was made on the day at a press conference held at the party’s head office in Tokyo. The JCP conveyed its appeal to the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, the Democratic Party for the People, the parliamentary group Reviewing Group on Social Security Policy, the Social Democratic Party, and the Reiwa Shinsengumi party.

At the press conference, Shii referred to the fact that the consumption tax was first introduced 31 years ago at the rate of 3% under the pretext of funding better social welfare services and weathering a state budget crunch. He pointed out that revenues from the consumption tax, however, have been used only to make up for a revenue shortfall resulting from generous tax breaks for large corporations and the rich. Shii added that the repeated consumption tax hikes to the present 8% have ruined many people’s livelihoods, hurt the nation’s economy, and devastated smaller businesses, becoming a major factor in turning Japan into an “economically unviable nation”.

Pointing out, “A pressing issue for the moment is whether to put an end to such a regressive tax,” Shii expressed his determination to hoist the banner for the abolition of the consumption tax and work hard with others to achieve this.

Shii put forward the party’s plan to develop joint struggles at the grass-roots level with the aim of winning swift cuts in the consumption tax rate to 5% in order to overcome the prolonged economic recession. Shii also noted that anti-Abe opposition parties in their election promises for the July Upper House election incorporated in common the cancellation of the planned sales tax hike to 10%. The JCP chair expressed his intent to call on these parties to hold a discussion on the JCP proposal for a 5% consumption tax rate and to jointly move forward to achieve this goal.

Furthermore, Shii said that in parallel with efforts for a reduced sales tax rate, the JCP will work even harder to fulfill its vows made in the Upper House election, including the realization of higher wages, the improvement of social welfare services, and the reduction in financial burdens associated with educational costs. He went on to say that this will contribute to changing the government to one supporting people’s daily lives.

Regarding measures to secure financial resources to implement a lower consumption tax rate and people-oriented policies, Shii explained that as the party proposed, necessary funds can be obtained through tax reforms centering on the imposition of a fair share of taxes on big businesses and the wealthy and the establishment of an economy based on policies to achieve a healthy and sustainable household economy.

In conclusion, Shii stressed that political parties, organizations, and individual people need to join hands on the single issue of slashing the consumption tax rate by going beyond differences in views on taxation and to work for improved livelihoods and the nation’s overall economic recovery.

Past related article:
> JCP publishes Upper House election platform seeking to restore hope in improving people’s livelihoods [May 23, 2019]
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