TOKYO: The Diet, Japan’s parliament, enacted on Monday a fiscal 2021 supplementary budget chiefly to finance a stimulus package aimed at cushioning the economic impact of the novel coronavirus crisis.
The extra budget features general-account spending of 35,989.5 billion yen, a record high for a supplementary budget. Among key measures in the economic package are benefits worth 100,000 yen per person aged 18 or under.
At the day’s plenary meeting of the House of Councillors, the upper chamber of the Diet, the budget for the year through next March was passed by a majority vote, with support mainly from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner, Komeito. The budget cleared the House of Representatives, the lower chamber, last week.
The extra budget also includes funds for a new program to offer reward points worth up to 20,000 yen to people obtaining My Number social security and taxation identification cards and for a scheme to provide up to 2.5 million yen to small companies seeing revenue drops blamed on the COVID-19 fallout.
Also earmarked under the budget are additional financial resources for resuming the state-backed Go To Travel tourism promotion campaign, as well as funds to be used for raising wages of nurses, caregivers and preschool staff, one of measures aimed at realizing growth and redistribution, a signature policy of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.
As tax revenue alone will not be enough to finance the extra budget, the government will additionally issue 22,058 billion yen of bonds to make up for the shortage.
The balance of government debt issues as of the March 31, 2022, end of fiscal 2021 is projected to top 1,000 trillion yen.