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消費税 来秋10%に引き上げへ

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consumption tax hike
消費増税(後出 tax rise は増税、tax rate は税率、tax revenue は税収)
secure
確保する
implement
実施する
social welfare
社会保障
extraordinary ... meeting
臨時閣議
take measures
対策を講じる(後出 countermeasures は対策)
tackle
取り組む
aging and lower birth rates
(ここでは)少子高齢化
head on
正面から
fiscal structure
財政構造(後出 fiscal ~は~年度)
postpone
延期する
gross domestic product
国内総生産
shrink
(→ shrank)縮小する
quarter
四半期
in a row
連続して
funnel
投入する
a trillion
1兆
in a bid to ~
~することを目指して
People rush to buy products a day before the consumption tax is raised to 8 percent, at a supermarket in Osaka on March 31, 2014. (Mainichi)

PM Abe confirms consumption tax hike in 2019   

Prime Minister Abe Shinzo announced on Oct. 15 that his government will raise the consumption tax to 10 percent on Oct. 1, 2019, to secure funds to implement his "all-generation" social welfare policies.

Abe made the announcement during an extraordinary Cabinet meeting at the prime minister's office, and instructed his ministers to take measures to prevent the tax hike from slowing down the economy.

"We must tackle national crises such as aging and lower birth rates head on," Abe told his ministers in announcing the tax rise. "We will turn around our social welfare system toward one that covers all generations, while reforming our fiscal structure."

The decision came after Abe postponed the hike twice out of concerns for its negative economic impact.

Japan's gross domestic product shrank for two quarters in a row after the consumption tax was raised from 5 percent to 8 percent in April 2014.

But this time, the government plans to keep the tax rate for food items at 8 percent and funnel about 2 trillion yen of the new tax revenue into free educational programs in a bid to reduce economic damage.

Such countermeasures will be incorporated into the state budgets for fiscal 2019 and 2020.

[本文‐202 words]

週刊英語学習紙 毎日ウィークリー10月27日号

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