社会保障改革 方向は与野党で一致している

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 15, 2010)
Parties must cooperate on social security
社会保障改革 方向は与野党で一致している(12月14日付・読売社説)

The government and ruling parties have come up with a proposal to promote social security reforms. The basic principles in the proposal are based on the following two pillars:
 政府・与党が社会保障改革を推進するための基本方針をまとめた。
柱となるのは、以下の2点である。

-- Setting up a permanent suprapartisan meeting to discuss the issue.
 「超党派で常設の会議を設置する」

-- Drafting concrete plans on social security reform and the taxes that will fund the reforms by the middle of next year.
「来年半ばまでに、社会保障改革とその財源となる税の具体案を作成する」。

However, the Liberal Democratic Party and some other parties oppose the proposal, saying that the Democratic Party of Japan did not agree to take part in suprapartisan talks when it was in the opposition. Given the critical situation surrounding social security and fiscal conditions at present, policymakers must not use the issue to score political points.
 自民党などからさっそく、「民主党は野党の時は超党派協議に応じなかったではないか」と否定的な反応が出ている。だが、社会保障と財政の危機的状況を見れば、政争の具にする時ではない。

Lawmakers also must not be allowed to postpone the deadline on the plan. The DPJ must reflect on what it did as an opposition party while the LDP should sit down at the negotiating table without chafing at what happened in the past.
 来年半ばまでという期限を、それ以上先送りすることは許されまい。民主党は野党当時の姿勢を反省し、自民党も過去のいきさつにこだわらず、議論のテーブルにつくべきだ。

Shared principles exist

The basic principles are fleshed out in a report by a panel of experts set up by the government and the ruling parties. The report is titled "Social security visions for realizing a sense of security and vitality."
 基本方針は、政府・与党が設置した有識者検討会の「安心と活力への社会保障ビジョン」と題した報告書で肉付けされている。

The report called for principles such as building a social security system that seamlessly covers people of all ages and securing stable fiscal resources so as not to pile financial burdens on future generations. It also proposed using the consumption tax exclusively for social security purposes.
 ビジョンは、切れ目なく全世代を対象とした社会保障を構築することや、次世代に負担を先送りしないために安定的財源を確保するといった原則を掲げた。財源として、消費税を社会保障目的税化することなども提言している。

The report's proposals significantly overlap those written in a different report by a panel of experts tasked with realizing a secure society under the LDP-led government of former Prime Minister Taro Aso. The older report even had a similar title: "Toward a Japan with a sense of security and vitality."
 内容は、麻生政権による安心社会実現会議の報告書「安心と活力の日本へ」とほぼ重なる。安心と活力、というスローガン自体が同じだ。

This shows that the change of government has not altered the basic policies needed by society.
政権が交代しても、求められる政策の方向は変わらない、ということだろう。

The current government's report also calls for setting up a task force on social security comprising experts and lawmakers from both ruling and opposition parties. The envisaged panel is quite similar to something the Aso administration proposed: the roundtable for realizing a secure society.
 与野党議員と有識者による「社会保障諮問会議」の設置をビジョンは提唱しているが、これも麻生政権時に提案された「安心社会実現円卓会議」そのものである。

These facts clearly show that the ruling and opposition parties have many things in common in their ideas and way of thinking when it comes to social security policies.
The next step is to take action.
 内容も考え方も一致しているのだから、後は行動だけだ。

Govt must move first

As an initial step, the government and ruling parties must show how serious they are about realizing the basic principles of social security reform. They must present concrete proposals as soon as possible on key points, such as how much the consumption tax rate should be raised. If the government and ruling parties merely call on the opposition bloc to join suprapartisan talks, opposition parties will likely find it difficult to agree.
 まず、政府・与党が今回の基本方針の本気度を示す必要がある。消費税率の引き上げ幅など具体的な考えを早急に打ち出すべきだ。単に超党派協議を呼びかけても野党は乗れまい。

The administration of Prime Minister Naoto Kan is having difficulty in finding fiscal resources for each of the main social security fields, including medical care, nursing care, pensions and child care, in the budget compilation for fiscal 2011.
 菅内閣は来年度予算の編成作業において、医療、介護、年金、子育てなど社会保障の主な分野で、ことごとく財源の壁に突き当たっている。

The greatest cause of the problem is the DPJ's election manifesto, which included many pledges that have proven extremely difficult to realize. In addition, the DPJ has been putting off discussions on the consumption tax hike, just as the coalition government of the LDP and New Komeito did, and has failed to secure stable revenue sources to implement necessary policies.
 最大の原因は、民主党の政権公約(マニフェスト)に無理がありすぎたことだが、自公政権に続いて民主党も消費税の議論を先送りし、安定財源を確保してこなかった点も大きい。

If the situation is allowed to stand as it is, Japan's social security system will surely continue to be mired in a stalemate.
 このままでは、社会保障がさらに行き詰まることは明らかだ。

It is necessary for lawmakers to move beyond party affiliations in order to build a stable social security system.
 揺るぎない制度を構築するためには、党派を超えて行動しなければならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 14, 2010)
(2010年12月14日01時25分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2010-12-15 11:41 | 英字新聞

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