Japan’s Suga: Government already planning steps to ease pain from sales tax hike

May 21, 2019

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s government is already planning to take sufficient steps to mitigate the pain a scheduled sales tax hike in October could inflict on the economy, its top spokesman said on Tuesday.

The government will do its utmost to respond to concerns over the impact the tax hike could have on the economy, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference after a cabinet meeting.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has repeatedly said he would proceed with the tax hike in October. But some lawmakers have called for postponing it, or ramping up fiscal spending to ease the pain on concern that the higher levy could cool consumption and push the economy into recession.

(Reporting by Leika Kihara; Editing by Chang-Ran Kim)

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