Japanese officials are considering putting together a new economic stimulus package that would focus on alleviating the pain caused by high energy prices, which are projected to remain as a result of the situation in Ukraine, according to the Kyodo news agency.
According to Kyodo, the package, which would be put together when the fiscal 2022 budget is approved by parliament, would include the continuation of temporary subsidies provided to energy wholesalers, which are set to expire at the end of this month.
A day earlier, MPs from the ruling coalition urged for increased expenditure to help soften the economic blow caused by the Ukraine conflict, which has affected consumers and businesses by driving up already-rising oil and food costs even further.
According to DPFP Secretary-General Kazuya Shimba, the ruling coalition and the center-right opposition Democratic Party for the People (DPFP) agreed on Wednesday to explore unfreezing a “trigger provision” that removes the gasoline tax when the price of gasoline surpasses 160 yen ($1.35) for more than three months.
That clause had been frozen in 2011 in order to obtain cash for the reconstruction of the region following a terrible earthquake and tsunami.
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The government instead started a temporary scheme in January to subsidize gasoline prices beyond a pre-determined level of 170 yen per liter. Following the tenth consecutive week of increases in gasoline prices, the government increased the maximum amount of the subsidy to 25 yen for the upcoming week on Wednesday.
(1 dollar equals 118.1900 yen)