Under their thumbs
Posted by ampontan on Friday, February 11, 2011
PEOPLE wondering about the claim that the government of Prime Minister Kan Naoto is under the thumb of the Finance Ministry might consider the following sequence.
When Mr. Kan led the party in last summer’s upper house election campaign, their political platform contained this pledge: “We will begin discussions with all political parties about sweeping reform of the tax code, including the consumption tax”.
Read my lips–more new taxes. That turned out to be a losing proposition in the election.
He later changed his tune. Answering a question posed by Your Party Secretary General Eda Kenji in the Diet on 2 February, Mr. Kan said:
“Basically, we will not increase the consumption tax until August 2013.”
That’s when the four year statutory term of the lower house ends. In other words, the prime minister suggested he was returning to his party’s original promise in their 2009 election platform that there would be no consumption tax increase for four years.
Three days later, however, on 5 February, the Finance Ministry’s man in the Cabinet, Economic and Fiscal Policy Minister Yosano Kaoru, said this at a news conference:
“It is the obligation of the Cabinet to pass legislation (for a tax increase) in FY 2011.”
FY 2011 starts on 1 April.
Four days after that, on 9 February, LDP President Tanigaki Sadakazu asked about tax code reform and the consumption tax during Question Time in the Diet. Mr. Kan answered:
“We must have some sort of legal response by the end of FY 2011.”
That didn’t take long, did it?
The way he talks when he’s spoken to…He’s under their thumb.