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76% say they have not changed their spending since consumption tax hike, Nikkei poll

A total of 76% of respondents said that they have not changed their household spending since the consumption tax rate was raised to 10% on Oct. 1, according to the Nikkei-TV Tokyo survey conducted on Oct. 25–27. This figure easily exceeds the 21% who said that they have decreased their expenditures. The Abe cabinet support rate was 57%, staying essentially level with that found in the spot poll conducted after the Prime Minister reshuffled his cabinet in September. The percentage disapproving of the cabinet rose slightly to 36%.


A higher percentage of women than men said that they have decreased their spending since the tax hike, with 24% of women giving this response and only 19% of men saying the same. Some 15% of cabinet supporters and 31% of cabinet nonsupporters said they decreased their spending.


When the same question was asked in the survey conducted after the consumption tax was raised to 8% in April 2014, some 31% said they decreased their expenditures while 66% said they made no change. With the recent tax hike, the government has introduced a reward point system and a reduced tax rate system to prevent spending from declining, and these programs may be having a degree of impact.


Some 22% said they have increased their use of cashless transactions because the reward point system was introduced, while 75% said that they have not. By age group, 38% of those age 39 or under and 30% of those in their 40s or 50s said they have increased their cashless transactions. Only 11% of those age 60 or over said that they have made such a change in their transactions.


Asked whether the political parties should engage in detailed deliberations on constitutional amendment at the Diet, 74% said they should while 18% said that is not necessary. Some 79% of cabinet supporters and 70% of nonsupporters said there should be such Diet debate. In the poll conducted on Aug. 30–Sept. 1, some 77% said the political parties should engage in such debate.


Some 84% said the government should fortify embankments and dams more than in the past to prevent water damage, easily surpassing the 11% who disagreed.


[Asked who would be appropriate to serve as prime minister of the next administration, some 20% selected Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi, making this the most frequently given response.]


The nationwide poll was conducted on Oct. 25–27 by Nikkei Research Inc. via random-digit dialing (RDD) by calling both landlines and mobile phones. It drew 1,029 responses from those 18 and older, for a 48.6% response rate.

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