May 12, 2020 / 7:48 AM / a month ago

Japan finance minister says no tax cuts for time being to counter pandemic

FILE PHOTO: Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso takes questions from reporters at the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in Washington, U.S., October 18, 2019. REUTERS/James Lawler Duggan

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso said on Tuesday he was not considering tax cuts, including a reduction in the sales tax, for the time being as a way of easing the economic pain from the coronavirus pandemic.

“Japan’s fiscal condition is in a severe state and will likely turn more dire due to the pandemic,” Aso told parliament.

“Cutting tax isn’t something I have in mind for the time being,” Aso said, when asked by a lawmaker whether the government could cut tax as part of efforts to support an economy suffering from the fallout of the pandemic.

Reporting by Leika Kihara

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