Low-income households set to get ¥50,000 handout

The government finalized a package of meas-

ures Friday to deal with soaring prices, includ-

ing a ¥50,000 handout for low-income house-


About 16 million households that are exempt

from resident tax will be eligible for the

handout. According to government sources, the

handout was decided because soaring prices of

electricity, gas and food have a greater impact

on lower-income households.

The measures were compiled by the

headquarters for comprehensive measures on

prices, wages and living conditions, which is

headed by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

The government will also extend subsidies to

oil wholesalers until the end of the year to curb

the rise in gasoline prices.

The reserve fund in this fiscal year's budget

will be used to cover the cost of the measures.

"Protecting livelihoods and business activ-

ities is the top priority of the government,"

Kishida said at the meeting. He instructed min-

isters to implement the measures as soon as


The gasoline subsidy, which was to expire this

month, will be extended until the end of

December. The government has so far spent

about ¥300 billion per month to keep the retail

price of gasoline at ¥170 per liter, which would

otherwise have been more than ¥200.

In addition, the price of imported wheat that

the government buys from overseas and sells to

domestic millers will remain at the current level

after October.

About 90% of wheat consumed in Japan is

imported, so if the price of imported wheat in-

creases, the prices of bread, noodles and other

products that contain wheat also go up, hitting

household wallets.

The government has also decided to increase

a temporary subsidy for regional development

that local governments can use at their dis-

cretion to implement price control measures by

¥600 billion. Local governments can use the

funds to provide support in line with the actual

situation in each region.

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