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HOME  > Past issues  > 2022 April 13 - 19  > JCP proposes 8-pillar emergency economic package
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2022 April 13 - 19 [POLITICS]

JCP proposes 8-pillar emergency economic package

April 16, 2022
Japanese Communist Party Policy Commission Chair Tamura Tomoko on April 15 released an 8-pillar proposal as an emergency economic package compiled by the JCP Dietmembers' Group, and made a representation to the national government in this regard.

Tamura said that many people in Japan have been suffering from hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic-induced ailing economy. In addition, the rise in prices of consumer goods, gasoline, food products, and electricity is dealing an additional blow to people's livelihoods and businesses.

She pointed out that the ongoing price increase and everyday hardships are caused mainly by three factors: escalating international prices due to the rising global demand associated with the economic recovery from the pandemic; the yen's depreciation and rising import prices due to Bank of Japan's "different dimension monetary easing" policy; and the rise in prices of energy and wheat due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine and subsequent US-imposed economic sanctions against Russia.

The JCP proposal is as follows:

Countermeasures against price increases
- immediately lower the consumption tax rate to 5% from the current 10%, and abolish the consumption tax invoice system which is disadvantageous for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs);
- take measures, including the exercise of a "trigger clause" on gasoline tax, in order to decrease wholesale prices;
- reduce the price of fuel oil for business use such as for eating establishments, transport services, and small- and medium-sized manufacturers;
- reduce the price of fuel oil for agricultural and fisheries use;
- reduce the government resale price of wheat;
- implement exemption measures for businesses which cannot afford to pay the consumption tax; and
- raise the standards of public assistance in response to the steep rise in prices.

Measures for people in need
- expand public assistance benefits to needy people, not limiting assistance to the households which are exempt from local residence taxes;
- continue subsidies/support grants to parents who have no choice but to take days off associated with coronavirus-caused temporary closure of their children's elementary schools;
- eliminate lunch fees in elementary and junior high schools;
- provide livelihood support benefits to students whose part-time incomes decreased because of the pandemic;
- relax the requirements for exemption from repayment for users of a coronavirus financial aid program called special welfare fund loans; and
- expand the range of people eligible for housing security benefits and extend benefit periods.

Social security
- put a hold on the reduction of government pension benefits; and
- freeze the increase in patients' burden of medical costs for the elderly aged 75 and over.

Wage hikes
- realize a minimum national hourly wage of 1,500 yen with a 10-trillion-yen budget to help SMEs increase wages;
- levy a tax on large corporations' internal reserves in order to increase tax revenues and to correct inequalities in the tax system, and instruct large corporations to implement wage increases; and
- realize a decent wage increase for care workers.

Measures for SMEs and businesses
- upgrade the business revival support grant to the level of business sustainability benefits, and reinstate office rent subsidies.

Agricultural countermeasures
- make a government purchase of all the rice held in surplus;
- reconsider the policy of reducing the government payment of benefits pertaining to the utilization of paddy fields; and
- implement a new fiscal measure in order to stabilize the prices of fertilizer and compound feeds.

Energy measures
- drastically increase Japan's energy self-sufficiency rate by utilizing renewables, stop taking advantage of an import ban on coal from Russia to continue relying on nuclear power; and
- stop restricting the output of renewable energy generation, including solar power, as done by Kyushu Electric Power, Shikoku Electric Power, and Tohoku Electric Power.

Fiscal and monetary measures
- shift fundamentally from the "different dimension monetary easing" policy which helps invite the depreciation of the yen and increase the price of imported goods.
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