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HOME  > Past issues  > 2012 August 1 - 14  > Japanese people have power to abolish consumption tax hike law
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2012 August 1 - 14 [POLITICS]

Japanese people have power to abolish consumption tax hike law

August 11, 2012
A bill to double the consumption tax rate to 10% in two stages by October 2015 was enacted on August 10, by the force of majority of the ruling Democratic and the opposition Liberal Democratic and Komei parties. This legislation plainly goes against popular opinion.

The consumption tax hike bill was on the verge of dying on the Upper House floor as Prime Minister Noda Yoshihiko said, “I will do (get the bill passed) or die.”

Following a meeting among Diet policy commission chairs of opposition parties, which the Japanese Communist Party called for, 7 opposition parties with the notable exception of the LDP and Komei parties proposed a vote of no-confidence against the Cabinet in the Lower House on August 7. On the same day, opposition lawmakers submitted to the Upper House a censure motion against the prime minister.

Facing the swelling public opinion against the bill, even the LDP began moving toward submitting a no-confidence motion independently. The DPJ-led government was forced to give up voting on the bill on August 8 and the bill was standing on the edge of an abyss facing failure.

Meanwhile, the JCP lawmakers have criticized the tax hike bill as damaging to the general public. They argue that the burden increase amounting to 20 trillion yen caused by the consumption tax hike and social services cutbacks will throw the Japanese economy into despair, destroy livelihoods, and adversely affect national finance. The JCP in the Diet pointed out that the aim of the bill is to squeeze more money out of the general public to promote large-scale public works projects.

The mass media paid close attention to the JCP arguments and frequently cited the bill as a preparation for “pork-barrel spending in public works”.

The Upper and Lower house elections are to take place by April 2014, the first phase of the consumption tax increase. Whether the legislation is repealed or not depends on the results of these elections.
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