菅・新首相 景気と財政再建の両立を図れ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jun. 8, 2010)
Fiscal fix must be part of business recovery
菅・新首相 景気と財政再建の両立を図れ(6月6日付・読売社説)

Putting the economy on a stable course and rehabilitating the state finances--Prime Minister-elect Naoto Kan will have his work cut out as he tries to steer the national economy.
 景気を安定軌道に乗せ財政も立て直す――。
 日本経済のかじ取りで菅直人新首相に課せられた使命である。

Kan must make growth compatible with fiscal reconstruction by adopting a flexible approach and breaking free from the Hatoyama administration's obsession with giving top priority to delivering on campaign pledges.
 鳩山内閣が陥った政権公約(マニフェスト)至上主義を脱し、柔軟な発想で、成長と財政再建の両立を図るべきだ。

At the news conference last week where Kan announced his candidacy for the presidency of the Democratic Party of Japan, he spoke of his intention to improve the nation's fiscal health. "We'll seek to stop state debt from continuing to increase indefinitely," he said. Kan needs to translate this idea into concrete shape--starting with the fiscal 2011 budget.
 新首相は、民主党代表選に向けた会見で、「無限に借金が増えるような方向性は正していく」と、財政健全化に意欲を示した。ならば、2011年度予算でさっそく具体化する必要があろう。

Kan, as deputy prime minister and finance minister in the Hatoyama Cabinet, has already made moves to fix the huge fiscal deficit. He has spoken, for example, of capping the new issuance of government bonds in the fiscal 2011 budget at less than the 44 trillion yen issued in fiscal 2010.
 副総理・財務相在任当時から、菅新首相はすでに布石を打っていた。11年度予算における国債の新規発行額を、10年度の44兆円以下に抑えたい、と述べたことだ。

Unless the government puts the brakes on government bond issuance, long-term debts held by central and local governments--which are predicted to reach a staggering 862 trillion yen as of the end of fiscal 2010--are expected to further swell, thereby eroding confidence in government bonds.
 国債発行に一定の歯止めをかけなければ、10年度末で862兆円に達する国と地方の長期債務の膨張が続き、国債の信用が失われかねないのが現実だ。

Having attended several international conferences as finance minister, Kan might have recognized anew the serious fiscal conditions gripping Japan. At any rate, we welcome his statement in favor of "holding down government bond issues to below 44 trillion yen."
 財務相として一連の国際会議に出席し、我が国の財政事情の深刻さを再認識させられたことも背景にある。「国債発行44兆円以下」発言を一応は評価したい。

===

Cut spending first

The bond issuance worth about 44 trillion yen for the current fiscal year is the largest ever projected in an initial budget. The most pressing task for the government will be to reduce its bond issuance.
 だが、これでも当初予算の国債発行額としては史上最高だ。44兆円を上限に、これをどう減額していくかが肝要である。

First and foremost, spending should be reined in as much as possible. The fiscal 2010 budget became bloated due to hand-out policies pledged in the DPJ's manifesto for last year's general election. Among them are child-rearing allowances, income compensation for individual farmers and making public high school tuition free.
 最初に取り組むべきは、歳出の抑制だ。10年度予算は、マニフェストに盛り込まれた政策が歳出を膨らませた。子ども手当、農家に対する戸別所得補償、高校授業料の実質無償化などである。

Such pork-barrel measures cannot be allowed to continue. Kan must trim waste and not blindly adhere to policies promised in the party's manifesto.
 こうしたバラマキを続けることは不可能だ。マニフェストへのこだわりを捨て、真の無駄減らしに取り組む必要がある。

Raising the consumption tax rate will be a surefire source of revenue. The consumption tax will be indispensable for helping to meet social security costs that have been soaring by nearly 1 trillion yen annually.
 歳入確保の面では、消費税率の引き上げが避けられない。毎年、1兆円規模で増え続ける社会保障費を賄う財源としても、消費税は極めて重要だ。

===

Make tax hike a poll issue

Some people suggest such a tax increase could adversely affect the economy. Kan, however, has brushed off such concerns, saying the economy will improve if additional revenue accruing from a tax increase is used to improve medical and nursing care treatment, which will create new jobs in these fields.
 増税による景気への影響も懸念されるが、新首相は、増収分を医療・介護の充実などに回せば雇用が創出され、景気は良くなるとの見方を示している。

If Kan genuinely believes this, we suggest he seek the people's mandate on the advisability of raising the consumption tax in this summer's House of Councillors election. If voters give their consent to this policy in the election, Kan must start working out concrete measures to implement the tax increase while paying close attention to business trends and conditions.
 そう言う以上、夏の参院選で消費税率引き上げの是非を国民に問うてはどうか。理解を得たと判断すれば、景気動向に目配りしながら、具体案作りに入るべきだ。

Equally important will be compilation of guidelines on a "medium-term fiscal framework" and a "fiscal management strategy." The former will set a three-year blueprint for budgets starting with fiscal 2011, while the latter will spell out a longer-term fiscal management strategy. Both are being put together in tandem with compilation of the DPJ's campaign pledges for the forthcoming election.
 参院選の公約取りまとめ作業と並行して進む、「中期財政フレーム」と「財政運営戦略」という二つの指針作りも重要である。
 前者は11年度から3年間の予算の大枠を決め、後者は中長期的な財政運営の道筋を描くものだ。

The content of the two guidelines will give us a clear idea of the incoming prime minister's resolve on fiscal reconstruction.
二つの指針の中身次第で、新首相のやる気が判断されよう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 6, 2010)
(2010年6月6日01時43分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2010-06-08 07:17 | 英字新聞

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