Japan govt to examine key child allowance pledge
Tokyo: Japanese government will review a plan to offer allowances to families with children starting next year as a part of the ruling party`s election campaign, Cabinet members said.
Finance Minister Hirohisa Fujii yesterday said that whether to set an income limitation for the allowance programme "could be a point of argument" among Cabinet members, at a time when the two-month-old Democratic Party of Japan-led government is struggling with budget constraints for the year starting April.
During the election campaign, the DPJ promised to provide monthly allowances of JPY 13,000 (USD 145.97) in fiscal 2010 and JPY 26,000 from fiscal 2011 for each child of junior high school age or younger, regardless of income levels.
The review is partly due to differences of opinion within the ruling coalition over the framework for the allowance programme.
Fujii said policies mapped out in the DPJ`s campaign platform are "important" but added, "we still have to think about the amount of money" for each of them.
The DPJ`s junior coalition partners -- the Social Democratic Party and the People`s New Party -- have called for an income cap to be applied to the programme, which would require JPY 2.7 trillion for fiscal 2010 if monthly cash payments of JPY 13,000 are given to all families with children of junior high school age or younger.
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