t steps in reining in ballooning public debt.New Komeito, the LDP’s partner in the ruling coalition, has also asked the LDP to hike the cigarette tax to raise funds for allowances for fa
milies with young children.Yuji Tsushima, adviser to the tax panel, said that although Tanigaki’s proposal is worth considering, New Komeito’s is not.“We cannot have strings attached to the cigarette tax. That goes against the principle of impartial and fair taxation,” Tsushima said.The tax panel will study the country’s overall fiscal health and come to a decision about whether to raise the cigarette tax by Thursday afternoon, he said.One idea before the panel is a proposal to raise the tax on cigar
ettes by 1 yen to 8.8 yen each, a panel member said.The tax hike would be included in the coalition’s tax reform program, to be drafted Thursday, for implementation in fiscal 2006.“I am intensely reluctant to raise taxes, but we will make a decision (on cigarettes) with all i
mation about the broader picture in mind,” tax panel chief Hakuo Yanagisawa said.Raising the tax by 1 yen would increase annual tax revenue by about 250 billion yen for both the central and local governments, a Finance Ministry official said.In Japan and South Korea, taxes account for roughly 60 pe
rcent of the price of
a pack of cigarettes. In Denmark, the figure is 85 percent, in Great Britain 77 percent. The share is
lower in the U.S., where taxes comprise about 30 percent, on average, of the retail price of cigarettes.Information from Kyodo addedTwitterFacebookLinkedInGET THE BEST OF THE JAPAN TIMESIN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5Mail the editorError ReportRepublishingCommenting PolicyJOIN THE CONVERSATIONLATEST BUSINESS STORIESWorkplace equality '
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