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HOME  > Past issues  > 2021 December 15 - 21  > Financial aid for the needy to buy heating oil realized, pressed by JCP
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2021 December 15 - 21 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Financial aid for the needy to buy heating oil realized, pressed by JCP

December 15 & 17, 2021
Pressed by residents and a Japanese Communist Party assemblymember in Fukushima Prefecture located in a cold temperature region of Japan, the Fukushima prefectural government has decided to subsidize the purchase of heating oil for needy people.

JCP Fukushima Prefectural Assemblyperson Miyagawa Emiko at an assembly interpellation on December 10 demanded that the prefecture provide financial support for low-income people to purchase heating oil. An official responsible for the prefecture's welfare service answered, "We are considering it." She in response said, "Many residents and municipalities are seeking help from the prefecture. You should decide to offer financial aid now, without delay, in this assembly."

On December 13, the prefectural government announced that it will provide up to 2,500 yen in subsidies per needy household to help them buy heating oil during the winter months. People eligible to receive a subsidy will mostly be elderly aged 65 years and over, persons with disabilities, and single-parent families who are exempt from paying local residential taxes. However, households receiving public assistance will be excluded from this measure.

Tsuruyumi Takaaki, who was calling for the introduction of subsidies for low-income families to buy kerosene for home heating, said, "It's good that the prefecture has decided to subsidize their oil purchase, but the measure does not cover all needy households. In addition, a subsidy of up to 2,500 yen is too small. The measure should also cover people receiving public assistance."

In Miyagi Prefecture, 23 of 35 municipalities in the prefecture are planning to provide similar subsidies, and the remaining 12 municipalities are considering implementation, as of December 15. JCP local assemblymembers made a request to each municipality and argued at assembly debates for additional welfare benefits to the needy to buy heating oil.
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