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HOME  > Past issues  > 2023 November 15 - 21  > Diet debates on supplementary budget bill commences
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2023 November 15 - 21 [POLITICS]

Diet debates on supplementary budget bill commences

November 21, 2023

As Diet deliberations on the supplementary budget draft for fiscal 2023 began on November 20, Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Representatives Takahashi Chizuko and JCP member of the House of Councilors Iwabuchi Tomo demanded consumption tax cuts and the abolition of the tax-invoice system.

In the Lower House plenary session, Takahashi pointed out that the fall in consumer spending is having a negative impact on Japan’s GDP, and said, “Cuts in the consumption tax rate will certainly be the most effective urgent countermeasure against rising prices.” She demanded that the sales tax be lowered and the tax-invoice system be abolished.

Prime Minister Kishida Fumio, however, responded that the government “has no intent” to reduce the consumption tax rate or do away with the invoice system.

Takahashi stated that a minimum hourly wage should be uniformly increased to at least 1,500 yen nationwide in order to stimulate personal consumption. To achieve this, she demanded that the government levy a tax on large corporations’ internal reserves and support small- and medium-sized enterprises so that SMEs can smoothly raise their employees’ wages.

In the Upper House plenary session, Iwabuchi took up the issue of pay hikes for non-regular workers in the public sector. She pointed out that women account for 75% of non-regular employees in both central and local governments. She also pointed out that many female non-regular government employees are paid low wages, which is a factor behind the growing disparity in wages between men and women.

Iwabuchi criticized the government economic measures for neglecting to address the issue of the gender pay gap. She said, “The government should take the initiative to raise the wages for non-regular employees in the public sector.”

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