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無料TOEIC レッスン Lesson 24 : Tax Hikes to Solve Fiscal Ills





Lesson 24: Tax Hikes to Solve Fiscal Ills / VIDEO Script

Al, what do you think about the article on the Asahi Shimbun site that explains that a special tax commission is recommending raising taxes?

Yeah, I saw it and it really ticks me off. Over the past two years many companies have required their employees to accept work-sharing and lower salaries. How much have government workers sacrificed during this economic downturn?

Well, I don’t think that they have taken any pay cuts or given up many perks or subsidies that they get to try to make ends meet between the budget and the shortfall in tax revenues.

Yeah, I haven’t heard of them doing anything either. According to that article raising the consumption tax to 10% will only net about 12.5 trillion yen more in taxes while the shortfall this year was over 55 trillion. It’ll hardly make a dent in the deficit and it’ll hit lower income people very hard.

They are also talking about raising the maximum income tax rate on rich people, the inheritance tax and even corporate taxes. I’m of the opinion that tax payers should not accept paying another yen unless the government bureaucrats can cut the deficit by at least half. That means they need to cut about 27.5 trillion yen out of their budget first. That seems like a very reasonable goal to prove they are doing their jobs and not just wasting money they don’t have.

Absolutely! We don’t want Japan to become another Greece. It is time to get serious and take steps to live within the taxes that they already collect.

Yes, it is high time! Cut the budget or off with their heads! Oh, maybe that is a little too cruel!

Yes, John. This is not the French revolution!


  1. What did John ask Al?
    1. He asked him if he was member of a special tax commission.
    2. He asked him if he had seen the article on the Asahi Shimbun site about the budget deficit.
    3. He asked him if a special committee was working for Asahi Shimbun.
    4. He asked him if he had seen the article about a special tax commission recommending raising taxes.
  2. What did Al ask John if the government workers had done?
    1. He asked if the government workers had sacrificed anything during the economic downturn.
    2. He asked if government workers had accepted work sharing and lower salaries.
    3. He asked if they had given up any perks or subsidies during the economic downturn.
    4. He asked if they had cut the deficit by half.
  3. What did Al say about the consumption tax?
    1. He said it would be lowered to help lower income people
    2. He said that raising it to 10% would hardly make a dent in the deficit which is about 4 times as much as the expected increase would bring in.
    3. He said raising consumption tax to 10% would cut the deficit by about half.
    4. He said that 12.5 trillion yen was far too little compared to the 92 trillion yen budget.
  4. How much did John say the government should cut the deficit by?
    1. He said they should cut it by 12.5 trillion yen.
    2. He said they should reduce the deficit by as much as is reasonable.
    3. He said they should cut it by 92 trillion yen.
    4. He said they should set a goal to reduce the deficit by 27.5 trillion yen or by about half.