来年度予算 公約優先では財政がもたない

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 26, 2009)
DPJ must find funds for its election pledges
来年度予算 公約優先では財政がもたない(12月26日付・読売社説)

The shift in power brought about by the last general election has caused a sea change in the process of putting together a government budget. However, the budget for the next fiscal year devised by the Democratic Party of Japan-led administration indicates that the government is unchanged in relying on the issuance of government bonds and nontax revenue for resources to underwrite its budget.
In fact, the next budget shows the government has become even more dependent on borrowing as a means of securing budgetary resources.
 政権交代で予算編成の過程は様変わりした。だが、出来上がった来年度予算案は、国債と税外収入に頼る構図が相変わらずで、借金体質は例年に増して強まった。

 ◆税収はわずか37兆円◆
On Friday, the Cabinet of Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama finalized the budget for fiscal 2010. Its general account expenditures total 92.3 trillion yen, an all-time high for an initial fiscal budget.
 政府は25日、2010年度予算案を閣議決定した。一般会計の歳出総額は92・3兆円と、当初予算では過去最大である。

The budget entails 53.5 trillion yen in spending for specific government policies, greater than the amount of expenditures in this category under the fiscal 2009 budget. Debt-servicing costs--expenditures needed to redeem government bonds and pay interest on such bonds--total 20.6 trillion yen, and local tax grants for discretionary purposes 17.5 trillion yen.
 具体的な政策の実行にあてる一般歳出は53・5兆円に膨らんだ。国債の利払いや償還に使う国債費は20・6兆円で、地方交付税は17・5兆円だった。

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Only 37.4 tril. yen from taxes

Meanwhile, the next fiscal budget has set annual government revenue from taxes at 37.4 trillion yen, which nearly compares with that to be expected under the fiscal 2009 budget in the wake of a second supplementary budget. Tax revenue has fallen to about the same level as was registered 26 years ago.
 一方の歳入は、税収が37・4兆円と、第2次補正後の09年度予算とほぼ同じであり、26年も前の水準まで落ち込む。

The government hopes to make up for a projected revenue shortfall using nontax revenue totaling 10.6 trillion yen--known as "buried treasure"--and government bond-generated revenue worth 44.3 trillion yen. The money includes funds deposited in the special account for government loan and investment programs, as well as surplus funds from the foreign exchange special account.
 財政投融資特別会計の積立金や外国為替特会の剰余金など、いわゆる埋蔵金をかき集めた10・6兆円の税外収入と、44・3兆円の国債発行で不足分を補う。

Government bond issuance accounts for 48 percent of total revenue under the fiscal 2010 budget, meaning almost half of revenue is expected to come from debts.
 歳入全体に占める国債への依存度は48%と、ほぼ半分を借金で賄う計算だ。

The current economic situation is so precarious it must be rectified by an underpinning fiscal stimulus. Given this, issuing new government bonds will be unavoidable. It is easy to see, however, that the government's chronic reliance on debt cannot be left unaddressed any longer if one stops to look at the government's fiscal crisis from a medium- and long-term standpoint.
 景気は財政出動で下支えしなければ危うい状況である。このため、国債の増発はある程度やむを得ないが、中長期的には、借金依存の財政を放置出来ないのも明らかである。

 ◆政権公約墨守で迷走◆
The greatest factor behind the difficulties in devising the next budget was the Hatoyama Cabinet's obsessive adherence to its goal of carrying out policies spelled out in the DPJ's election manifesto. The confusion embroiling the government in this respect started immediately after the new Cabinet was launched. The Hatoyama administration scrapped the guidelines for budgetary appropriation requests set by its predecessor, the coalition government of the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito, and also ordered each government ministry and agency to submit new budgetary demands.
 今回の予算編成を難航させた最大の原因は、政権公約(マニフェスト)に掲げた政策の実現に鳩山内閣がこだわったことである。
 内閣が発足するや、自公政権が決めた概算要求基準(シーリング)を廃止し、各府省に概算要求を出し直させたことが、迷走の始まりだった。

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2 miscalculations

Total budget requests came to 95 trillion yen, up 6.5 trillion yen from the 2009 initial budget. This increase was the result of the inclusion of policies contained in the DPJ manifesto, such as child-rearing allowances, making public high school eduction virtually free and a plan to eliminate some expressway tolls.
 概算要求の総額は95兆円と、09年度当初予算を6・5兆円も上回った。子ども手当、高校授業料の実質無償化や高速道路料金の一部無料化など、政権公約の関連項目が並んだためだ。

In the course of discussing how to fund these pledges in the budget, the Hatoyama administration noticed it had made two glaring miscalculations: a major drop in tax revenue, and its pruning of budget requests fell well short of expectations.
 これらの取り扱いについて議論するうち、鳩山内閣は二つの“誤算”に見舞われた。

The economic downturn has caused tax revenue for fiscal 2009 to plunge more than 9 trillion yen below initial forecasts, with the fall in corporate tax especially severe. Tax revenue is also expected to stay flat for fiscal 2010.
 一つは税収の大幅な落ち込みである。景気の低迷で、09年度は法人税を中心に、予想より9兆円以上減少することがわかった。10年度も税収の回復は期待できず、前年度並みの水準を見込まざるを得なくなった。

The DPJ assumed it could secure additional revenue by cutting wasteful programs. However, its attempts to eliminate budget fat finished with disappointing results.
 二つめは、予算の無駄減らしによる財源の確保が、期待はずれに終わったことである。

The DPJ had insisted 10 trillion yen to 20 trillion yen could be freed up by reviewing both the general and special accounts. In its manifesto, the party stipulated it would wring out nearly 17 trillion yen annually four years after taking power.
 民主党は、一般会計と特別会計を見直せば、10兆円や20兆円の財源を確保するのは容易だと主張してきた。政権公約には、政権奪取から4年後に、年間17兆円近い財源を捻出(ねんしゅつ)すると明記した。

The budget screening to cut wasteful spending started with great fanfare. However, the screening panel could not find wasteful programs to the extent that the DPJ first assumed. The administration initially set a target of 3 trillion yen in cuts, but could only come up with about 1 trillion yen.
 ところが、鳴り物入りで始めた事業仕分けでは、無駄の洗い出しが進まなかった。当初は3兆円の削減を目指したが、実際には1兆円程度にとどまった。

Despite this, the Hatoyama administration insists revenue sources are still waiting to be uncovered. The administration bears a heavy responsibility for these actions.
 民主党が想定したほどには、無駄がなかったということである。それなのに、財源はあると言い続けた鳩山政権の責任は重いと言わざるを得ない。

Despite this chronic revenue shortage, Hatoyama refused to budge from his plans to implement policies spelled out in the DPJ manifesto. This greatly delayed the compilation of fiscal 2010 tax reform plans.
 鳩山首相は、深刻な財源不足に直面してもなお、政権公約の実行にこだわり、税制改正大綱のとりまとめは大幅に遅れた。

Hatoyama eventually accepted DPJ requests submitted by Ichiro Ozawa, the party's secretary general, and modified several manifesto pledges, such as virtually retracting a proposal to abolish the provisionally higher gasoline tax. In the end, the budget was compiled within this year, although it was anything but smooth sailing.
 結局、小沢幹事長が出した民主党の要請を受け入れ、暫定税率廃止の撤回など政権公約の一部を修正した。この結果、予算案の年内編成になんとかこぎ着けた。

Worryingly, huge sums have been allocated to policies apparently designed to impress voters ahead of next year's House of Councillors election, such as an income compensation plan for individual farmers.
 だが、農家への戸別所得補償など、来年の参院選を意識したと思われる党主導の政策に多額の予算をつけたのは問題だった。

Also disconcerting is the slashing of public works-related budgets by 1.3 trillion yen to 5.8 trillion yen, an 18 percent reduction from the initial budget for this fiscal year.
 景気低迷が続く中、公共事業関係費を前年度比18%、1・3兆円も削り、5・8兆円に縮減したことも懸念材料である。

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Fiscal rehabilitation urgent

 ◆財政再建は待ったなし◆
We are concerned by figures in the approved draft budget for fiscal 2010. The long-term debt of the central and local governments is forecast to reach about 862 trillion yen by the end of the next fiscal year, a figure about 1.8 times larger than the nation's gross domestic product. Japan's figure is easily the highest among the United States and major European nations.
 10年度予算案の決定で、新たな数字が浮かび上がった。国と地方の長期債務が10年度末で862兆円程度と、国内総生産(GDP)の1・8倍にも及ぶ見通しになったことだ。欧米の主要国に比べると、日本が突出して高い。

There is more than 1,400 trillion yen in household financial assets in Japan. Some observers say that the long-term debt is not so problematic because government bonds could be sold to domestic buyers who own these assets.
 日本には1400兆円を超す個人金融資産があり、「国内だけで国債などの消化が可能だから大丈夫」という見方がある。

But if housing loans and some other debts are excluded, only about 1,000 trillion yen remains. Given the fact that the gap between long-term debt and household assets has been narrowing year by year, the government must seriously consider how to secure stable tax revenues.
 だが、住宅ローンなどの借金を除けば、残りは1000兆円余りだ。長期債務との差が年々縮小している現実を見れば、やはり国として安定した税収の確保を考えねばなるまい。

The Hatoyama Cabinet intends not to raise the consumption tax rate--the most promising revenue source--until the next House of Representatives election a few years from now. But it is clear that a budget cannot be compiled given the current revenue shortage.
 鳩山内閣は、最有力の財源である消費税について、次の衆院選まで税率引き上げを封印した。しかし、こうした状態では、財源不足でまともな予算が組めないことがよくわかったはずだ。

Even if raising the consumption tax is considered a change in policy, the public likely will go along with it provided the administration earnestly explains that the rate hike is necessary for securing revenue for social security measures.
 仮に消費税で方針転換しても、社会保障の財源として必要なことなどを丁寧に説明すれば、国民は理解を示すのではないか。

The Hatoyama Cabinet should start preparations so discussions for raising the consumption tax rate can start after the upper house election next summer, and so the measure could be implemented as soon as the economy gets on a solid recovery track.
 来年夏の参院選後には消費税率引き上げの議論を始め、景気が回復すれば直ちに実施できるよう、鳩山内閣は準備に入るべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 26, 2009)
(2009年12月26日01時18分 読売新聞)
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by kiyoshimat | 2009-12-26 09:01 | 英字新聞

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