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HOME  > Past issues  > 2009 April 8 - 14  > Government’s economic stimulus plan offers neither strategy nor hope for better livelihood
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2009 April 8 - 14 [ECONOMY]

Government’s economic stimulus plan offers neither strategy nor hope for better livelihood

April 10, 2009
The government and ruling parties on April 10 approved a 15 trillion yen economic stimulus plan, which is the largest ever and is included in the supplementary budget.

The government will reportedly submit a supplementary budget to the Diet sometime in April.

At a news conference later on the same day, Japanese Communist Party Policy Commission Chair Koike Akira said the government’s “additional economic measures” are not based on a sound strategy and will not give the public any hope for improvement in their livelihoods.”

Pointing out that the government compiled the plan with the aim of implementing the U.S. call for a stimulus plan with expenditures amounting to two percent of Japan’s GDP, Koike criticized the absence of any strategy for economic recovery.

He stressed that the need now is to “make a radical shift in the basic policy direction above anything else”.

Koike demanded that large corporations accept social responsibility for the collapse of the job market, and in the field of social services, that the healthcare insurance system discriminating against the elderly aged 75 and older be abolished. “Without moving away from the present policy which is worsening people’s living standards, the public will not be free from the uncertainties of their present and future lives.”

Citing the government call for “necessary revisions” to the present “mid-term program” that includes a plan to increase the consumption tax rate from its present five percent, Koike said, “Clearly, the government’s real intention is to use the consumption tax to make up for the fiscal losses that will follow the spending plans.”

“From the public’s point of view,” he said, “it is impossible to encourage the public to spend more while anticipating another consumption tax increase.”
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