All Sapporo residents qualify!

It’s no secret that consumer costs are increasing all across the world. The Russian invasion of Ukraine and the complications of a post-pandemic world have caused prices of everyday things, like gasoline, groceries, and utilities, to go up across the board. Japan is feeling that crunch too, and a lot of people are struggling because of it.

That’s why the city of Sapporo in the northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido, following similar policies made by local governments during the initial stages of the pandemic, is subsidizing the cost of the city’s water by reducing residents’ bills to help offset the rising cost of living. All households within the city, totaling 1,020,000 accounts, will be exempt from paying the 1,452 yen (US$10.50) monthly household base charge for waterworks in October and November, totaling 2,904 yen. Residents need not apply to have the fee removed; it will be automatically discounted on the October and November bills.

Additionally, to support child-rearing as inflation increases, the city will be granting families with children under the age of 18 cash payments of 10,000 yen per child, regardless of family income.

The plan is expected to cost the Sapporo City government 3.03 billion yen (about $21.9 million), but the funds are expected to come from grants provided by the national government for COVID-19 protection and support. A new, revised budget will be discussed at an emergency city council meeting to be held next month, but the government is expected to add about 12.2 billion yen to the budget to fund these initiatives.

At a press conference shortly after the benefit was announced, the mayor of Sapporo told reporters, “We can’t predict the future of inflation, but we can assume it will continue for a long while. Going forward, we’ll also be creating systems that will help reduce the burden on residents and businesses.”

2,904 yen might not sound like much, but when you’re struggling to make ends meet in an unforgiving world, every little bit helps! We can only hope the inflation will slow in the coming months to ease the burdens on everyone’s daily lives.

Source: Mainichi Shimbun, HTB News via Hachima Kiko
Top image: Pakutaso

Insert image: Pakutaso
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