TOKYO, Dec. 2 (AP) – Japan’s parliament approved a massive 29 trillion yen ($216 billion) supplementary budget on Friday, aimed at countering rising food and utility costs and the hit to household finances from a weak yen. hit.
This is the second tranche of ancillary spending this year to help boost the economy. The extra spending, largely funded by government bonds, has fueled concerns about the already high national debt.
Soaring global prices and a weak yen have made Japanese imports more expensive, driving up inflation and placing an extra burden on consumers and businesses.
The government has mostly insisted on spending to fight inflation, rather than raising interest rates, because of years of slow economic growth.
The latest stimulus package will subsidize household electricity and gas bills by about 5,000 yen ($37) a month, totaling about 6 trillion yen ($45 billion). It will also offer coupons worth 100,000 yen ($680) to women who are pregnant or parenting.
The supplemental budget will fund dozens of non-emergency, multi-year programs, such as research and development and semiconductor manufacturing subsidies. About 5.5 trillion yen ($40 billion) was allocated to innovation, measures to reduce fossil fuel use and promote labor market flexibility.
Opposition lawmakers and some experts have accused the government of emphasizing the size of the stimulus package rather than the content of the package.
Japan’s national finances are also a long-running problem, with pressure mounting as the government seeks to double defense spending in the coming years to counter threats from China and North Korea. (Associated Press)
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