Suga mulls extra budget of $95.5 billion to cushion effect of pandemic
November 30, 2020

Suga mulls extra budget of $95.5 billion to cushion effect of pandemic crisis: Mainichi

TOKYO (JAPAN) – The Japanese government is mulling an extra budget to the tune of $95.5 billion to mitigate the economic drag triggered by the pandemic, reported the Mainichi newspaper on Saturday.

The Yoshihide Suga government is likely to debate using the 10 trillion yen ($95.52 billion) budget in order to prolong a labour subsidy initiative, which is slated to end in December and to meet the expenses for the distribution of a coronavirus vaccine, said the report.

Members of Suga’s Liberal Democratic Party are seeking 10 trillion yen in spending, and the prime minister is expected to formally order an extra budget early next month, the report said.

The newspaper report said that Suga might use some of the funds to extend a domestic travel subsidy programme, but there is very little chance of direct cash handouts to households.

The government may consider whether to use some of the funds to extend a popular domestic travel subsidy scheme but is unlikely to offer more direct cash handouts to households, the newspaper reported.

The government has cash reserves to the tune of 7 trillion yen left over from an earlier pandemic package and it can be used to fund the extra budget. It is also mulling issuing bonds to fund the remaining amount.

The government and the lawmakers of the ruling party had originally planned to have an extra stimulus after the release of the third-quarter GDP on Nov. 16. But they decided to implement it rather soon after private firms began to cut workers’ bonus payments.

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