Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has made it clear he plans to go ahead with a consumption tax hike next year. He told cabinet ministers on Monday to take steps to ease its impact.
Abe has reiterated that the consumption tax will go up from the current 8 to 10 percent as planned on October 1st, 2019.
He said in a Cabinet meeting that the rate will go up as set by law. Abe said the government will do all it can to minimize the impact on the economy.
He said measures will be taken so that consumption just before and after the hike won't be affected.
The government may lift a ban on promotional sales campaigns that offer discounts that match the increase in tax.
Abe said he intends to draw up guidelines allowing stores to set flexible prices in the period around the time of the increase.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said, "This hike will be different from the last increase. About half of the income from the tax hike will be used to support families with children. We will also reduce taxes on some items."
Suga said he expects the hike to have a positive effect on personal consumption.