Japan PM Abe says no change to sales tax hike plan

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe answers a question during an upper house parliamentary session in Tokyo, Japan, on March 28, 2018.
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe answers a question during an upper house parliamentary session in Tokyo, Japan, on March 28, 2018.PHOTO: REUTERS

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Wednesday (March 28) there was no change to his plan to raise the country's sales tax hike next year unless the economy is hit by a huge external shock.

"If the economy is hit by a shock on the magnitude of the Lehman crisis, we need to reconsider. Otherwise, we will proceed with the scheduled sales tax hike," Abe told parliament, adding that the government will take steps to counter any damage the higher levy poses on the economy.

Abe has pledged to raise Japan's sales tax to 10 per cent from 8 per cent in October next year.