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2008年10月31日 (金)


(Mainichi Japan) October 30, 2008

2 trillion yen in household benefits, cheaper expressways part of new stimulus package

追加経済対策:株買い取り拡大 雇用保険料率0.8%に下げ--財政支出5兆円規模

A total of 2 trillion yen in household benefits and unlimited use on expressways for 1,000 yen on weekends are part of the government's latest plans for additional economic stimulus measures.

The government and the ruling coalition on Wednesday compiled the final draft of additional economic measures in a bid to combat the worsening economy and global financial crisis. Prime Minister Taro Aso officially announced the steps on Thursday.

Based on the plans, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and coalition partner Komeito will shortly devise the second supplementary budget draft for fiscal 2008 to facilitate the additional economic measures and will ask the government to submit the budget draft to the current Diet session.

The government and the ruling coalition will also consider extending the current Diet session, slated to close at the end of November, as opposition parties are likely to demand thorough deliberations on the budget draft and prolong the discussions.

The planned additional measures will require total government spending of nearly 5 trillion yen, largely surpassing that of the 2 trillion yen economic stimulus package decided by the government at the end of August. However, the latest plan will clearly state that the additional economic measures will not rely on the issuance of deficit-covering bonds as their financial source.

Under the planned measures, a total of 2 trillion yen in benefits will be made available to all households in the form of cash or coupons through local governments. The amount of benefits to be distributed to each household will be further discussed. The plan is a substitute for the originally planned fixed-rate income tax cuts.

The planned measures will also enable unlimited use of expressways for 1,000 yen on weekends and national holidays for users of the electronic toll collection (ETC) system. If approved, the discount tolls will be applied from sometime in fiscal 2008 to fiscal 2010.

As part of other measures, the Banks' Shareholdings Purchase Corp. (BSPC) and other public institutions may purchase large quantities of stocks. BSPC has so far purchased about 1.6 trillion yen worth of mutual shares between banks and business corporations since its establishment in 2002 until April 2006. The ruling coalition is considering further expanding the role of the BSPC and enabling it to purchase up to 10 trillion yen worth of shares.

Also planned is a reduction in the premium rate of employment insurance, from the current 1.2 percent of annual income (in equal shares by employer and employee) to 0.8 percent in fiscal 2009. That will reduce the monthly premium for an employee whose salary is 300,000 yen a month from 1,800 yen to 1,200 yen.



























毎日新聞 20081030日 東京朝刊


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