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HOME  > Past issues  > 2012 June 27 - July 3  > Consumption tax hike bill approved in Lower House
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2012 June 27 - July 3 [POLITICS]

Consumption tax hike bill approved in Lower House

June 27, 2012
On June 26, the ruling Democratic Party of Japan and two key opposition parties in the House of Representatives Plenary Session used their force of majority to pass bills on a so-called “unified reform” of social welfare and tax systems which are designed to double the consumption tax rate to 10% and cut social welfare services.

The Japanese Communist, Social Democratic, and Your parties voted against the bills.

Within the DPJ itself, 57 lawmakers, including former party leader Ozawa Ichiro and former Prime Minister Hatoyama Yukio, opposed their passage and 16 abstained or were absent from the vote.

Earlier in the day, at a House of Representatives Diet Steering Committee meeting, the DPJ together with the People’s New Party unilaterally decided to send a bill proposal to reduce Diet seats by 80 to the special committee on election law. The DPJ apparently showed its intent to appeal to the public its willingness to sacrifice Diet seats in return for cuts in government spending.

* * *

Prior to the vote, Japanese Communist Party representative Sasaki Kensho criticized the Noda Cabinet for reneging on the DPJ campaign promises, saying that the party has “surrendered” its principles to the dictates of the Liberal Democratic and Komei parties.

At the House of Representatives special committee on an “integrated reform” of social services and the tax system, Sasaki argued that although Noda says he will “continue hoisting the banner” seeking to carry out his promises, both the LDP and the Komei Party say, “the DPJ has basically canceled its pledge”, “Noda’s chance has gone” respectively in their organ papers.

As the key opposition parties’ support is not expected, the DPJ has no chance to fulfill its initial pledge, the JCP lawmaker stated.

Deputy Prime Minister Okada Katsuya merely said, “We will sincerely negotiate the matter with them.”
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