子ども手当 混乱回避へ与野党協議始めよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Feb. 28, 2011)
Child allowance system unsustainable
子ども手当 混乱回避へ与野党協議始めよ(2月27日付・読売社説)

Deliberations on a bill to expand child-rearing allowances paid to families in fiscal 2011 have started in the House of Representatives.
 子ども手当法案の審議が衆院で始まった。

Not only the Liberal Democratic Party but also New Komeito have made clear their stances against the bill. In the current divided Diet, even if the bill passed the lower house, it would almost surely be voted down in the House of Councillors, where opposition parties hold the majority. Therefore, there is only a marginal possibility that the bill will become law within the current fiscal year.
 自民党だけでなく公明党も反対姿勢を明確にしている。たとえ衆院で可決されても、ねじれ国会の下、参院で否決されるのは確実で、最終的に成立は困難だ。

The current child-rearing benefit system, for families with children of middle school age or younger, is based on a temporary statute valid for one year. If the bill on a new law does not pass the Diet, the current system will revert to the former system of dependent child allowances from April.
 現行の子ども手当制度は1年ごとの時限立法に基づいており、新たな法案が成立しなければ、4月からは以前の児童手当に戻らざるを得なくなる。

City, town and village governments actually in charge of handing out the child-rearing allowances changed their computer programs to fit the current system.
Therefore, it would be difficult for them to switch back to the old system so soon, as the old dependent child allowance system is quite different from the current system.
 事務を受け持つ市町村は、対象世帯を把握して支給するシステムを子ども手当用に変更しているため、仕組みの異なる児童手当に急に戻せと言われても、実際には対応は難しい。

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Major confusion expected

However, the local governments cannot prepare for the next fiscal year on the premise that the bill will not become law. If the situation goes on as it is, clerical work on issuing the benefits at municipal government offices will fall into major confusion. The ruling and opposition parties should immediately begin discussions to avoid such an outcome.
 不成立を前提にして準備するわけにはいかない。このままでは市町村の支給事務に大きな混乱が生じる。与野党は、それを回避するための議論をただちに始めなければならない。

To do so, the government and the Democratic Party of Japan have to drop the child-rearing allowance system, at least for now. The government should declare a stance of returning to the old dependent child allowance system, created when the LDP and New Komeito were in power, and ask both parties for cooperation.
 それには政府・民主党が子ども手当をいったん撤回することだ。自公政権が作った児童手当に立ち返る方向を示し、自公両党に協力を求めるしかあるまい。

The new bill for the second year of the child-rearing allowance system is designed to raise the current monthly handout of 13,000 yen per child to 20,000 yen for children younger than 3.
 2年目の子ども手当法案は、現行の月額1万3000円を、3歳未満については2万円に引き上げる内容だ。

The LDP and New Komeito have been arguing that improvements to child-related services, such as solving the problem of children waiting to be enrolled at certified nursery schools, should be given priority rather than maintaining a system to dole out cash.
 自公両党は、現金支給というバラマキよりも、待機児童の解消など現物サービスを優先すべきだと主張している。

The child-rearing allowance system has been impossible from the beginning. It would require a hefty 5.5 trillion yen annually to fund the full monthly amount of 26,000 yen per child that the DPJ has pledged to eventually provide, but there was no prospect for securing stable revenue sources.
 そもそも、安定的な財源の見通しを欠いたまま、満額支給すれば年5・5兆円もの巨費を投じることになる子ども手当は、土台から無理があった。

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Kan: Surprised at 26,000 yen

Prime Minister Naoto Kan himself has admitted as much.
 首相自らそれを認めている。

During recent deliberations on the bill at the Diet, he said, "I was little bit surprised to hear the monthly amount of 26,000 yen when Mr. [Ichiro] Ozawa was party president," recalling the time when the DPJ was deciding the amount.
 国会審議で菅首相は、子ども手当の額決定の際、「小沢代表当時に2万6000円と聞いて、ちょっとびっくりした」と述べた。

As Kaoru Yosano, state minister in charge of economic and fiscal policy, described it, this remark is "quite honest."
 与謝野経済財政相が言う通り、「非常に正直」な発言だ。

If Kan still thinks so, his administration should not adhere to the child-rearing allowance bill any more and, instead, both the ruling and opposition parties should cooperate to design a new system as soon as possible, with improvement of the old dependent child benefit system as the basic starting point.
 そうであるなら、子ども手当法案にこれ以上固執せず、与野党で早急に、児童手当の拡充を基本とした新たな仕組みを設計しなければならない。

If they follow the right steps, it may be possible to return to the framework of the former system of dependent child benefits backed by revenue sources, while avoiding confusion at the same time.
 手順を踏めば、混乱を避けながら、財源に裏付けられた児童手当の枠組みに戻ることも可能ではないか。

To finance the current child-rearing allowance system, the tax exemption system for families with children up to 15 years old was abolished, for instance. If that system is not revived, families will face significant tax increases. The government and the DPJ should analyze the situation carefully once again.
子ども手当の財源に充てるために廃止した年少扶養控除なども、復活させなければ実質増税となる。再考が必要だ。

There will be resistance within the DPJ to withdrawing such a high-profile plank of the party's 2009 general election manifesto, which helped propel the party to power.
 政権公約の目玉政策を撤回することには、民主党内で異論が出るだろう。

However, the government and the DPJ should not just wait for major confusion to arise without taking measures to avoid it.
だが、何の手も打たず、混乱を招くべきではない。

We hope Kan will show his leadership in remedying the situation.
菅首相には、事態打開のため指導力を発揮してもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 27, 2011)
(2011年2月27日01時23分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2011-02-28 12:25 | 英字新聞

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