Economy

Japan mulls $95.5 billion extra budget to counter Covid-19: Reports

Reuters Tokyo | Updated on October 24, 2020 Published on October 24, 2020

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The country’s Mainichi newspaper reported the govt will pay for the distribution of a Covid-19 vaccine but is unlikely to offer more direct cash handouts

Japan’s government is considering compiling an extra budget worth around $95.5 billion to offset the economic drag caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Mainichi newspaper reported on Saturday.

The government is likely to debate using the 10 trillion yen ($95.52 billion) budget to extend a labour subsidy programme scheduled to end in December and to pay for the distribution of a Covid-19 vaccine, the Mainichi reported, without citing sources.

Members of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party are calling for 10 trillion yen in spending, and Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is likely to formally order an extra budget early next month, the Mainichi said.

The Finance Ministry and the prime minister’s office did not respond when contacted.

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 7 trillion yen in reserves left over from an earlier coronavirus aid package that it can use to fund the extra budget. The government is considering issuing bonds to fund the remaining amount, according to the Mainichi.

Japan’s government and ruling party lawmakers originally planned to make a decision on extra stimulus after the release of third-quarter gross domestic product on November 16 but decided to bring forward their decision because private sector companies are starting to cut workers’ bonus payments, the newspaper said.

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Published on October 24, 2020
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