(Nikkei: March 14, 2016 – p. 2)
The Nikkei conducted a questionnaire survey of the regional organizations of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ). Only 50% of the LDP’s prefectural federations said that “the consumption tax should be raised to 10% from April 2017 as planned.” A full 30% seemed to be waiting to see what the Prime Minister decides, saying that they “can’t say either way.” The DPJ has not clarified its position on the consumption tax hike itself, but more than half of the DPJ’s prefectural federations said “the hike should be postponed.”
The questionnaire was conducted at the beginning of March. Written questionnaires were sent to the chairmen and secretary-generals of the 47 prefectural federations of party branches of the LDP and DPJ. There were both multiple choice and free-answer questions. Supplemental questions were asked by telephone in some cases. Responses were received from a total of 34 LDP federations and 25 DPJ federations.
The Prime Minister has said, “At present, the consumption tax increase will go forward as scheduled.” In the survey, however, only 18 LDP prefectural federations said, “The consumption tax hike should go forward as planned,” and the majority of federations okaying the hike added “on the condition that the world economy does not contract substantially.” A minority of federations said, “If you take into consideration the nation’s fiscal situation and the aging of society, [the tax rate] should be increased.”
Three LDP federations said the tax hike should be “postponed,” citing such reasons as “the tax hike should be put off until the world economy calms down” and “the impact of Abenomics is gradually starting to appear in regional areas now so it is not the time for a tax hike.”
Among DPJ prefectural federations, the most frequent response was “the tax rate should be postponed.” The DPJ has not clarified its position on the consumption tax hike itself, but it has said that “raising the tax rate on the premise of introducing reduced tax rates is unacceptable.” A number of DPJ federations cited this reason when indicating that “the tax hike should be postponed.” (Abridged)
Main questions and answers to the survey of LDP and DPJ prefectural federations
(Figures indicate the number of prefectural federations of party branches indicating that response.)