「ほっ」と。キャンペーン

Consumption tax debate must proceed

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Sep. 20, 2010)
Consumption tax debate must proceed
消費税論議 新体制で与野党協議進めよ(9月19日付・読売社説)

Fiscal reconstruction and economic recovery are the main themes that Prime Minister Naoto Kan's newly reshuffled Cabinet must address. It should prop up the economy and rehabilitate the nation's fiscal condition, which is the worst among advanced nations.
 景気をテコ入れし、先進国で最悪の財政状況を立て直す――。
 菅改造内閣が取り組むべき経済テーマの柱は、景気と財政再建の両立である。

To that end, the Cabinet must put its back into tackling the consumption tax issue, which the prime minister began to treat cautiously after the Democratic Party of Japan's setback in the House of Councillors election in July.
その実現のため、参院選敗北で首相が及び腰になった消費税問題に、今度こそ腰を据えて取り組まなければならない。

The battle lines on this issue were drawn in the run-up to last week's DPJ presidential election. While Kan said he would consider drastic tax reforms, including of the consumption tax, his opponent, former DPJ leader Ichiro Ozawa, stressed the government should cut waste before raising taxes.
 民主党代表選では、財源を巡る対立軸が鮮明になった。「消費税を含む税制の抜本改革を検討する」と訴えた首相に対し、小沢元代表は「増税の前に無駄減らしだ」と強調した。

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Increase is inevitable

It is a foregone conclusion that reducing waste, no matter how seriously the government tackles the problem, will not generate much in the way of financial resources.
 無駄排除にいくら取り組んでもさほど財源を捻出(ねんしゅつ)できないのは、はっきりしている。

Also, we cannot say that replacing central government subsidies to local governments with lump-sum grants to them with fewer strings attached, or securitizing state-owned assets, constitutes the kiss of life for an anemic economy.
補助金の一括交付金化や国有財産の証券化なども、起死回生策とは言い難い。

It is likely that Kan's victory in the DPJ leadership race was due in part to the many DPJ lawmakers, party members and supporters who judged as unreasonable Ozawa's vow to fully implement the promises contained in the party's manifesto without clearly indicating the financial resources to fund them.
 財源の明示なしに政権公約の完全実施を求めた小沢氏の主張に対し、民主党国会議員や党員・サポーターの多くが「無理がある」と判断したことが、首相勝利の一因になったと見ていいだろう。

It is impermissible for the issue of financial resources to be left on the shelf any longer in this country, which is saddled with massive budget deficits. And it is clear that raising the consumption tax rate is unavoidable to secure funds to cover the nation's ballooning social security costs.
 巨額の財政赤字を抱える日本でこれ以上、財源問題を棚上げすることは許されない。増大する社会保障費を賄う財源を確保するためにも、消費税率の引き上げが避けられないのは明らかである。

A Yomiuri Shimbun opinion survey conducted during the DPJ presidential election race found that 52 percent of respondents supported Kan's stance toward the consumption tax, greatly surpassing the 38 percent supporting Ozawa, who took a negative view toward a tax hike. The people apparently want thorough debate over the issue.
 読売新聞が代表選中に実施した世論調査でも、消費税を巡る首相の姿勢を支持した人が全体の52%で、引き上げに否定的な小沢氏を支持する38%を大幅に上回った。国民は本格論議を求めている。

However, although Kan called for drastic tax reforms during the DPJ presidential election, he has yet to go further into their vital contents.
 だが、首相は代表選で税制の抜本改革を叫びながら、肝心の中身には踏み込んでいない。

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Start discussing details

Some DPJ members, such as Ozawa, are stubbornly cautious toward the consumption tax issue. Kan should lead intraparty debate in various settings, including a tax panel that the DPJ has resurrected, while again calling on opposition parties to join a wider discussion.
 民主党内には、小沢氏に代表されるように、消費税論議に慎重な意見も根強い。首相は、復活させた党の税制関連部会などで党内論議をリードし、野党にも重ねて協議を呼びかけるべきだ。

It is also urgent to lower the nation's corporate tax rate, which is relatively high by world standards. To rejuvenate the Japanese economy, it is essential to enhance corporate vitality and improve competitiveness. Lowering the corporate tax rate is indispensable for that.
 国際的に高い法人税率の引き下げも急務だ。日本経済の再生には企業活力を引き出し、競争力を高めることが肝要だ。それには法人税引き下げが不可欠である。

With the Finance Ministry concerned about a possible decline in tax revenues, the government's Tax Commission is expected to face tough going. Kan should not simply leave matters to the commission but must exercise leadership and achieve the objective of lowering the corporate tax rate as part of tax system revision for fiscal 2011.
 財務省は税収減を懸念し、政府税制調査会では調整が難航するとみられる。首相は税調任せにせず指導力を発揮し、来年度税制改正で、ぜひ実現させるべきだ。

Kan's touchstone for the time being is the fiscal 2011 budget compilation. Budget requests hit record highs, but Japan is mired in an extraordinary fiscal situation in which the government is taking in less through taxes than it borrows through bonds. Therefore, the government can no longer afford to continue handout policies.
 首相の当面の試金石は、来年度予算案の編成だ。概算要求額は過去最大に膨らんだが、日本の財政は新規国債の発行額が税収を上回る異常事態であり、バラマキ政策を続ける余裕はない。

The government should compile a finely tuned budget in which, for example, such policies as the child-rearing allowance are boldly reviewed while spending that would help underpin the country's economy is increased.
 子ども手当などの政策を大胆に見直し、景気下支えに役立つ歳出を手厚くするなど、メリハリのきいた予算を作るべきだろう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Sept. 19, 2010)
(2010年9月19日01時15分 読売新聞)
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by kiyoshimat | 2010-09-20 05:14 | 英字新聞

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