'I can barely make ends meet': Low-income families in Japan fret over tax hike
Japan Times -- Oct 02
The consumption tax hike to 10 percent Tuesday has left low-income households already struggling to make ends meet worrying about how to cope with the higher cost of living.

To alleviate their burden, the government kept most food and beverages at 8 percent, but higher costs for other everyday items and utility charges are expected to have an impact.

“It’s scary to think that prices have risen for everything aside from food,” said a 43-year-old woman who works part time to help sustain her family.

Her husband and eight children, age 2 to 24, use a large quantity of toilet paper and detergent every day, but such items were not exempted from the tax hike.

Among other measures to minimize the negative impact of the increase, the government is offering low-income households and families with children the chance to buy vouchers for ¥20,000 that allow them to purchase ¥25,000 worth of items.

The number of vouchers people can purchase depends on the number of people in their family, but many say they do not have enough money to buy them and want the benefits paid out directly instead.

News source: Japan Times
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