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Those most in need should be top priority of stimulus package

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Cash handouts to all residents, e-coupons, tax cuts and an expansion of points reward systems for cashless payments are among economic stimulus measures being proposed by the ruling and opposition parties.

The ideas have been suggested for inclusion in a package of emergency measures that the Abe administration plans for the next fiscal year to cushion the enormous impact of the new coronavirus outbreak on the economy and people’s lives.

Abe says his government will come up with a “mega-scale policy commensurate with the magnitude (of the pandemic).”

Some members of the ruling coalition insist that the government must consider a fiscal spending larger than the 15.4 trillion yen ($139 billion) disbursed following the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008 or the 13.2 trillion yen stimulus package approved last December.

With everybody battling fears of the unknown and unpredictable virus, urgent action is needed.


© The Asahi Shimbun