税制抜本改革 ひるまず消費税論議を進めよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jul. 15, 2010)
Get cracking on consumption tax talks
税制抜本改革 ひるまず消費税論議を進めよ(7月14日付・読売社説)

The Democratic Party of Japan's crushing defeat in Sunday's House of Councillors election has raised concern that discussions on far-reaching tax reform, including a possible consumption tax hike, will be put on the back burner.
 参院選で民主党が敗北し、消費税率引き上げを含む税制改革論議が後退する懸念が出ている。

DPJ Secretary General Yukio Edano has indicated his intention not to stick to Prime Minister Naoto Kan's plan of formulating concrete plans on tax reform by the end of fiscal 2010. "We won't necessarily adhere to the initial deadline," Edano said.
 民主党の枝野幹事長は「必ずしも当初想定していた期限にこだわらない」と語り、菅首相が目指していた2010年度内の具体案のとりまとめに固執しない意向を示した。

However, the government cannot put off discussions on consumption tax any longer. The nation is mired in an extraordinary fiscal condition in which tax revenue is less than the amount of new government bonds issued. Furthermore, the increasingly creaky social security system needs urgent repair.
 しかし、税収が新規国債発行額を下回る異常な財政事情や、将来不安が高まる社会保障制度の現状を直視すれば、消費税論議を先送りする余裕はないはずだ。

The Kan Cabinet must swiftly resuscitate the economy, which in turn will boost tax revenue, and knuckle down to reform the tax system--including consumption, corporate and income taxes.
 菅内閣は、税収増につながる日本経済の再生を急ぎ、消費税、法人税、所得税など税制全般の改革にも取り組まねばならない。

The election defeat has stung Kan. But the prime minister must dust himself off and start full-fledged efforts to coordinate intraparty opinions on consumption tax and continue inviting opposition parties to start suprapartisan discussions on the issue.
 首相は選挙の敗北にひるまず、消費税についての党内調整を本格化させると同時に、野党に対し、引き続き超党派の協議を呼びかける必要がある。

We urge the opposition camp to take up the prime minister's offer of discussions on a new consumption tax system.
 野党側も、これに応じ、制度設計に踏み込んだ議論を進めるべきである。

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Tax not reason for defeat
 ◆消費税が敗因ではない

At Tuesday's Cabinet meeting, Kan suggested the consumption tax dispute contributed to the ruling bloc's failure to retain its majority in the upper house, saying his remarks on the issue just before the election likely caught the public by surprise.
 首相は13日の閣議で、参院選での与党の過半数割れについて「唐突な感じを与えてしまった」と述べ、消費税問題が敗因につながったとの認識を示した。

However, the main opposition Liberal Democratic Party increased its number of upper chamber seats, despite proposing raising the consumption tax rate to 10 percent in its election platform.
 だが、「消費税率10%」を参院選公約に明記した自民党は議席を伸ばした。

A Yomiuri Shimbun survey taken after Sunday's election showed more than 60 percent of the public believe a consumption tax hike will be necessary. This figure barely changed from a similar survey conducted before the election.
 読売新聞が参院選後に実施した世論調査では、消費税率の引き上げが必要と答えた人は6割以上に上っている。消費税率アップの必要性についての意識は、今回の選挙の前後で全く変化がない。

In the election, voters did not give a verdict on a consumption tax hike per se, but rather on Kan's inconsistent remarks on the matter.
 有権者が問題にしたのは、消費税率引き上げそのものではなく、一貫性を欠いた首相の言動だ。

During the campaign, Kan failed to present clear principles on fundamental questions about a consumption tax hike, such as why an increase is necessary and how the extra tax revenue it brings in would be used.
 首相は、なぜ消費税率を上げるのか、増税分を何に使うのか、といった根本的な問題に明確な方針を示すことができなかった。

When Kan found himself being boxed in by criticism over the consumption tax issue, he tweaked his previous statement, saying he would not raise "even yen1" in consumption tax until the next general election. This gave the impression that Kan was uncertain what to do.
 増税批判で苦境に立たされると「次の総選挙まで1円たりとも上げない」と発言を修正するなど、最後まで軸が定まっていない印象も与えた。

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Build intraparty consensus
 ◆民主は党内合意急げ

To restore public trust in the DPJ, the party must form a consensus on a consumption tax hike as soon as possible and carefully explain its position to the public.
 国民の信頼を取り戻すために民主党が取り組むべきは、消費税率引き上げに関する党としての考え方を早急にまとめ、丁寧に国民に説明することである。

Future discussions likely will focus on measures to alleviate the burden any increase would place on low-income earners, among other issues.
 今後の議論では、低所得者対策などが一つの論点となる。

A consumption tax refund was one option floated, but this idea is fraught with problems, such as where to draw the line on household income that would be subject to the scheme and how accurately the government can calculate individual households' income.
 消費税額を還付する案が浮上しているが、所得に応じて対象者をどう線引きするか、対象者の所得をどこまで正確に把握できるかといった問題がある。

A reduced tax rate system, under which tax rates are set lower for daily necessities and other items, might be one possibility. Given that reduced tax rates are applied to newspapers, books and food in some European countries, such a system is certainly worth consideration.
 生活必需品などの税率を低く設定する軽減税率の導入も選択肢だ。欧州の軽減税率は新聞や書籍、食料品などに適用されており、検討に値しよう。

The DPJ must spell out that the primary purpose of raising the consumption tax rate is to fund ballooning social security costs in pension, medical care and nursing services.These costs will only increase as the nation's society grays and birthrate declines.
 消費税率を引き上げる目的については、少子高齢化の進展で増大する年金、医療、介護などの社会保障費を賄うことが主眼であることを明確にすべきだ。

After storming into power in September, the DPJ insisted it would find the money to fund its policies by weeding out wasteful spending. However, efforts to cut government fat had less of an impact than expected on the fiscal 2010 budget compilation.
 政権交代後、民主党は無駄減らしで財源を捻出(ねんしゅつ)するとしていたが、10年度予算編成で、歳出削減の効果はわずかだった。

The consumption tax, which imposes a financial burden on a wide spectrum of people, is the only stable tax revenue source, given that income and corporate tax revenues can fluctuate greatly, depending on the state of the economy.
 一方、税収確保の点では、所得税や法人税が景気動向に大きく左右される以上、安定した財源となるのは国民が広く負担を分かち合う消費税しかない。

If the government can restore the social security system through a consumption tax increase, it also would help stimulate consumer spending as the public would be more willing to buy things if they did not have so many anxieties about their future.
 消費税増税で社会保障制度を立て直せば、将来不安の解消で消費を刺激する効果も出てこよう。

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Lower corporate tax rates
 ◆法人税引き下げを

Discussions on tax reform should aim to create a society free from concerns by stabilizing the public finances and social security, as well as maintain economic vitality.
 税制改革論議では、財政や社会保障を安定させて安心社会を実現し、日本経済の活力を維持する視点が不可欠だ。

Japan's effective corporate tax rate is more than 40 percent, far higher than the average of 26 percent among the 30 member states of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. We think the government should quickly lower corporate tax rates as this will strengthen Japanese companies' international competitiveness.
 日本の法人税の実効税率は40%超で、経済協力開発機構(OECD)加盟30か国の平均26%と比べてかなり高い。企業の国際競争力を強化するためには、法人税率の引き下げが急務だ。

To make up for expected tax revenue shortfalls, the government must expedite discussions on tax system reform for fiscal 2011, including streamlining tax incentives that have run their course.
 その減収を補う措置として、役割を終えた政策減税を整理するなど、11年度税制改正に向け議論を急ぐべきである。

During the election campaign, Kan suggested strengthening the progressive taxation system, under which high-income earners and others bear heavier tax burdens.
 参院選で首相は、高所得層を中心に負担を重くする所得税の累進性の強化を示唆した。

However, the maximum income tax rate already stands at 40 percent, which is high by international standards. Because this rate is applied to only a few taxpayers, no visible tax revenue increase can be expected from Kan's plan. Rather, the prime minister seemed to be trying to fend off public criticism that the proposed consumption tax hike would hurt the pockets of the wider general public.
 だが、所得税の最高税率(40%)は国際的に高水準で、適用される納税者は少なく、増収効果はあまりない。むしろ、消費税の税率アップが大衆増税になるとの批判をかわすのが狙いだろう。

Raising the maximum income tax rate will discourage people from working hard and undermine efforts to energize the country's businesses.
 所得税の最高税率の引き上げは国民の働く意欲をそぎ、経済社会の活性化に逆行する。

Before all else, the government should review its tax deduction measures.
様々な所得控除の見直しが先である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 14, 2010)
(2010年7月14日01時38分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2010-07-15 07:35 | 英字新聞

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