財政再建新目標 消費税引き上げから逃げるな

The Yomiuri Shimbun(Jun. 14, 2009)
Consumption tax hike is elephant in the room
財政再建新目標 消費税引き上げから逃げるな(6月14日付・読売社説)

Japan's serious fiscal deficits are in the spotlight again.
 日本が抱える財政赤字の深刻さが、改めて浮き彫りになった形だ。

A new target for fiscal reconstruction was included in a draft of basic policies for economic and fiscal reform in 2009.
 政府の経済財政運営の指針となる「骨太の方針2009」原案に、財政再建に関する新しい目標が盛り込まれた。

The pillar of the new target is achieving a surplus in the primary balance at both central and local government levels by the end of fiscal 2019, according to the draft of the government's annual fiscal policy guidelines.
 財政の健全度を示す国と地方の基礎的財政収支を、19年度に黒字化するのが新目標の柱である。

The government earlier said it would try to attain the goal during fiscal 2011. But as the deficit in the primary balance likely will have swollen to about 40 trillion yen by the end of fiscal 2009, mainly due to repeated implementation of fiscal stimulus measures, the government has been forced to put off the target year for realizing the goal to fiscal 2019.
 これまでは11年度での実現を目指していた。だが、度重なる財政出動などで、基礎的財政収支の赤字が09年度末で40兆円近くに膨らむ見通しとなり、一気に8年後へ先送りせざるを得なくなった。

An official estimate showed that it would be impossible to achieve a surplus in the primary balance on the back of a yearly economic growth rate of 1 to 2 percent or by resorting to conventional methods of reining in government spending. This means, according to the estimate, that the government needs to hike the consumption tax to 12 percent from the current 5 percent by raising the rate by a total of seven percentage points--one percentage point every year from fiscal 2011--to accomplish its goal.
 しかも黒字化は、年1~2%の経済成長や従来の歳出削減努力だけでは不可能で、消費税率を11年度から毎年1%ずつ合計7%引き上げて、12%にする必要があるとの試算が公表された。

Another estimate showed that if the rate is raised by only five percentage points, to 10 percent, the government will have to wait until fiscal 2021 to see its goal achieved.
 税率を5%引き上げて10%にするだけでは、黒字化は21年度にずれ込んでしまうという。

Although these are estimates, in the face of such a stern reality, neither the ruling nor the opposition parties can afford to put off any longer discussing the issue of raising the consumption tax rate.
 試算とはいえ、これだけ厳しい現実が明らかになった以上、消費税率の引き上げから、与野党とも逃げるわけにはいくまい。

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Public debt skyrocketing

Under such critical national fiscal conditions, the government has no choice but to require the public to shoulder heavier burdens in the future.
 将来的に重い負担を国民に求めざるを得ない背景には、危機的なわが国の財政事情がある。

In the fiscal 2009 main and supplementary budgets, the government set bond issuances totaling 44 trillion yen. This almost matches the amount of yearly tax revenues. The outstanding balance of national bonds will approach 600 trillion yen by the end of fiscal 2009.
 09年度の国の予算は、補正を合わせ44兆円もの国債を発行する計画だ。年間税収に匹敵する規模である。09年度末の国債残高は600兆円に近づく。

Outstanding public debt at both national and local levels is about 170 percent of gross domestic product, far higher than the level in other advanced nations, such as United States and European countries, where it lies between 60 and 80 percent.
 国と地方を合わせた債務残高の国内総生産(GDP)比は約170%に及ぶ。欧米の主要国が60~80%にとどまっているのに比べ、際だって高い。

If this situation is left unresolved, it could cause a plunge in government bond prices and rising interest rates, shaking the foundations of the economy. It is a matter of course for the government to propose a new target for fiscal rehabilitation and work toward realizing it.
 この状況を放置すれば、国債の暴落と金利上昇を招き、経済的な大混乱を引き起こしかねない。新しい目標を立て、財政再建に向けて努力するのは当然のことだ。

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DPJ should face reality

The government and ruling parties should begin paving the way for raising the consumption tax rate soon if the economy recovers, while carefully watching the economic trends.
 政府・与党は、景気の動向を注視しながら、景気が回復すればすぐ消費税率の引き上げに取りかかれるよう、今から準備を進める必要がある。

Meanwhile, if the main opposition Democratic Party of Japan touts itself as ready to take over the administration of the nation, it should realize anew the nation's harsh fiscal conditions and face head-on the issue of raising the consumption tax.
 民主党も、政権奪取を標榜(ひょうぼう)する以上、財政の厳しさを再認識し、消費税率引き上げに、正面から向き合うべきではないか。

The consumption tax is increasingly seen not only as a means for fiscal reconstruction, but also as an indispensable financial resource to cover ballooning social security costs resulting from the declining birthrate and the growing population of elderly people.
 消費税に焦点が当たるのは、財政再建のためばかりではない。少子高齢化の進展で膨らみ続ける社会保障費を賄う財源として欠かせないからだ。

The key to simultaneously undertaking fiscal reconstruction and reinforcing the social security framework lies in the consumption tax. The public should keep in mind the fact that a hike in the consumption tax will stabilize their livelihood.
 財政再建と社会保障充実という二つの問題を同時に解くカギは、消費税が握っている。税率の引き上げが、むしろ生活の安定につながることを、国民は頭に入れておく必要があろう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 14, 2009)
(2009年6月14日01時41分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2009-06-15 07:10 | 英字新聞

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