Japan eyes cash payouts to ease inflation pain on households -media


TOKYO : Japan is considering providing further cash payouts worth 50,000 yen ($367) to low-income households with children as part of steps to be compiled later this month to ease the pain of inflation, domestic media reported on Friday.

The news followed Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s instruction last week for the ruling coalition to draft necessary steps over the next two weeks.

Demands from politicians will keep Kishida’s government under pressure to spend even more, which could add to public debt burden, particularly ahead of elections such as local polls scheduled nationwide in April.

The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and its small coalition ally Komeito, aim to draft their own proposals next week before the government compiles measures including a repeat of 50,000-yen payouts that were first adopted last year.

The payout per child will target single-parent households with low incomes and those exempted from resident tax, public broadcaster NHK reported.

Japanese households are grappling with intensifying cost-of-living pressures amid elevated inflation for energy and food.

Rounds of heavy stimulus spending have aggravated the industrial world’s heaviest public debt at more than double the size of Japan’s economy, the world’s third largest.

For now, the government is expected to tap emergency reserves already earmarked for the next fiscal year’s budget. But further spending could strain Japan’s debt woes.

A main opposition party will also submit legislation to parliament, offering cash handouts worth the same amount as the ruling coalition.

($1 = 136.1000 yen)

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