A slight majority of Japanese households intend to continue their spending levels after the consumption tax hike goes into effect on April 1, according to a poll conducted by Nikkei and Tokyo TV. 51 percent of the survey respondents will maintain their spending limit, while 44 percent said they would minimize spending after the hike.
Only 12 percent of the respondents believe that household income will grow with some companies agreeing to raise wages of their employees while a huge 83 percent do not agree. Many households still do not see the supposed effect of higher wages that come from higher corporate earnings, as encouraged by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Despite this, many people still believe in the stability of the economy, as the approval rating of the premier’s cabinet increased by 3 points to 59 percent from the last survey. The high approval rating was also due to 28 percent of respondents supporting Abe’s strong leadership. 29 percent of the respondents, however, disapprove of the cabinet, a 4-point dip since the last survey in January.
As Abe still considering another tax increase by October 2015, with the 8 percent increasing to 10, only 29 percent are in agreement, while 64 percent are opposed to the hike. Out of those who disagree with the second stage of the increase, 49 percent do not want the increase to happen, 23 percent suggested a delay in implementation, and another 23 percent said the increase should be smaller. On the topic of nuclear power, half of the respondents want it to be phased out, and 28 percent called for the decrease of nuclear power plants in the country. A small 8 percent wants atomic power to be maintained as the key source of energy in the nation.