一体改革―税制の全体像を描け

--The Asahi Shimbun, Dec. 22
EDITORIAL: Clock is ticking on tax reform to finance the future
一体改革―税制の全体像を描け

The tax debate among government and ruling party policymakers involved in the development of a draft plan for integrated tax and social security reform is coming to a head. This is an important process to secure financing of the social security reform plan recently drawn up by the government.
 社会保障と税の一体改革の素案づくりで、政府・与党の税制論議が正念場を迎えた。先にまとまった社会保障改革案の財源を確保する大切な作業だ。

The government and the ruling Democratic Party of Japan decided in June to gradually raise the consumption tax rate to 10 percent by the mid-2010s as part of the integrated reform. The first thing is to decide on specifics of the proposed consumption tax hike--the timing and scale of each of the tax increases.
 2010年代半ばまでに段階的に消費税率を10%まで引き上げる――まずは政府・与党が6月に決めたこの方針に沿って、いつ、何%ずつ引き上げるか、決めなければならない。

The ruling camp has made it clear that all the revenue from the consumption tax will be used to finance growing social security spending. This policy is based on the notion that the consumption tax, which everyone pays at the point of purchase, is suitable as a revenue source to fund the social security system, the principal social safety net based on mutual aid among all members of society.
 消費税は社会保障だけにあてる目的税とする。誰もが負担する消費税は、社会全体で支え合う社会保障の財源にふさわしいとの考えに基づく。

But raising the consumption tax rate to 10 percent alone will not put social security on a firm and sustainable financial footing.
 ただ、税率を10%に上げても社会保障が万全になるわけではない。

The government’s social security spending, including health care, pension, nursing care and child care benefits, will reach 108 trillion yen ($1.383 trillion) in fiscal 2011, which runs through March 2012.
医療や年金、介護、子育てなど社会保障の給付費は108兆円(11年度)。

Of that total, nearly 60 trillion yen is financed by social security premiums collected from taxpayers. The revenue from a 10-percent consumption tax is less than 30 trillion yen, while social security spending keeps growing by 3 trillion yen every year. The consumption tax hike now being discussed will only be one landmark in the long process of making the social security system financially sustainable.
保険料で60兆円近くをまかなうが、10%の消費税で得られる税収は30兆円に及ばない。給付は高齢化などで毎年3兆円ずつ増えていくだけに、議論中の消費増税も長い道のりの一里塚にすぎない。

That is why it is vital to start a serious and in-depth debate on taxes other than the consumption tax from the viewpoint of the future of the nation’s tax system.
 だからこそ、税制の将来像を見すえて、消費税以外の税も議論を深める必要がある。

The government has already decided to lower the effective corporate tax rate in response to intensifying international competition companies are facing. So the debate on the future of the tax system should focus on such key levies as income and inheritance taxes.
 法人税は国際競争の厳しさを考慮して実効税率の引き下げが決まっており、所得税や相続税が焦点となる。

One proposal would change the current six income tax brackets--ranging from 5 to 40 percent--and raise the top tax rate to 45 percent.
 所得税では、5~40%の6段階の税率区分を見直し、最高税率を45%に引き上げる案が出ている。

The government is also considering shrinking various tax deductions, which reduce the amount of income subject to tax.
課税の際に所得から差し引く各種の控除も、縮小の方向だ。

The draft bill for tax changes for the next fiscal year already includes a provision to impose a ceiling on the standard income deduction applied to corporate employees. This provision was first proposed as part of the tax changes for the current fiscal year but later dropped amid partisan confrontation at the Diet.
すでに来年度税制改正案には、サラリーマンに適用される給与所得控除に上限を設ける案が盛り込まれた。与野党の対立から、今年度の税制改正で実現しなかった案だ。

The state general-account budget is in dire straits, with the amount of government bond issues, or the government’s overall borrowing, exceeding the total tax revenue.
 国の一般会計は、借金である国債発行額が税収を上回る異常事態が続く。

It is now inevitable that the tax burden on high-income earners will be increased in addition to raising the consumption tax.
消費税の増税とともに、所得が多い人の負担を重くするのは避けられない。

But effective efforts should be made to avoid putting an excessive load on the working population, or people who bear the burden of swelling social security spending in an aging society.
 しかし、高齢社会を支える現役世代に過度の負担がかからないよう、気を配らなければならない。

It is also necessary to debate the question of what would be the best balance between premium payments for health-care, pension and nursing care programs and income tax payments.
医療、年金、介護の保険料負担と所得税とのバランスも議論する必要がある。

In planning an increase in the social security burden, the emphasis should be placed on taxation of assets.
 重視すべきは、資産への課税だろう。

Another proposal for fiscal 2011 tax changes that fell through would have reduced the basic deduction for the inheritance tax and lifted the top rate to 55 percent from 50 percent. This is a good place to start.
その柱となる相続税も今年度に成立しなかった案がある。基礎控除を縮小し、最高税率も50%から55%に引き上げる内容だ。これが出発点になる。

With economic inequality widening in this nation, it would make sense, also from the viewpoint of fairness, to increase the tax burden on people who have a significant amount of assets coming, for example, from a large inheritance from their parents.
 社会の格差が広がる中、親からまとまった財産を受け継いだりして資産を持つ人に、より負担を求めることは、公平性の観点からも望ましい。

The government and the ruling party first need to draw up a vision for the overall tax reform focused on the consumption tax. Then, they need to develop a specific plan and timetable for pushing through the reform.
 消費税を中心に据えながら税制の全体像を描く。どんな手順で改革を進めるか、素案を工程表づくりにつなげる。それが政府と与党の責務だ。
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2011-12-24 06:20 | 英字新聞

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