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Sales tax hike will add $61 billion to household burden: Japan government panel

A man looks at Panasonic Corp's Viera TVs displayed at an electronics store in Tokyo October 28, 2012. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao
A man looks at Panasonic Corp's Viera TVs displayed at an electronics store in Tokyo October 28, 2012. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao

TOKYO (Reuters) - Raising Japan's sales tax next year will saddle households with an additional burden of about 6 trillion yen ($61 billion), private-sector members of a key government panel said on Friday.

The government should take comprehensive measures, including steps to ease the pain on low-income households and boost corporate capital spending, if it were to proceed with the tax hike, the members said at a Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy meeting.

The members said the Bank of Japan should also continue to take active measures to meet its 2 percent inflation target at an early date.

The panel, which includes key economic ministers as well as the Bank of Japan governor, is the government's key council to debate long-term macro-economic policies.

Japan will see its sales tax rise to 8 percent from 5 percent in April and to 10 percent in October 2015 if the increases are implemented as scheduled.

(Reporting by Leika Kihara; Editing by Shinichi Saoshiro)

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