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Japan's ruling party alters consumption hike plan

(Xinhua)

09:00, December 30, 2011

TOKYO, Dec. 29 (Xinhua) -- Japan's ruling Democratic Party approved on Thursday an altered plan for a consumption hike in the country, local media reported.

The ruling party decided to raise the country's politically sensitive consumption tax starting in 2014 instead of the initial 2013, Kyodo News reported, citing lawmakers sources.

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda had dropped the initial plan amid strong opposition from within his party.

The DPJ discussed comprehensive reform of the nation's social security and tax systems that would see the government first increase the 5 percent sales tax rate to 8 percent in April 2014 and then to 10 percent in October 2015 in an attempt to secure funds to finance swelling welfare costs in Japan, amid the aging of the population, Kyodo said.

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