消費税法案提出 首相は審議入りへ環境整えよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Apr. 1, 2012)
Set the stage for deliberations on consumption tax hike bill
消費税法案提出 首相は審議入りへ環境整えよ(3月31日付・読売社説)

 ◆野党と「政策スクラム」形成を◆

The government has adopted a bill to raise the consumption tax rate at a Cabinet meeting and submitted it to the Diet. We commend Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda for working hard to realize the government decision within the current fiscal year, and sticking to his personal pledge from beginning to end.
 政府が、消費税率引き上げ関連法案を閣議決定し、国会に提出した。
 野田首相が終始ぶれずに、年度内に法案を決定したことは評価したい。

Noda renewed his call to opposition parties to cooperate in getting the bill passed. "If we look at this issue from a grand perspective, this is a good chance for us to join forces with the opposition bloc over policies," he said at a press conference Friday.
 首相は、記者会見で、「大局に立つなら、野党と、政策のスクラムを組むことは十分可能である」と語り、野党に改めて協力を呼び掛けた。

However, there is no prospect that the government will be able to pass--or even start Diet deliberations on--the bill, a step on which Noda openly said he would stake his political life.
 だが、首相が「政治生命をかける」とまで公言した法案は、成立どころか、審議入りのメドさえ立っていない。

As an initial step, the government and the ruling Democratic Party of Japan must make utmost efforts to create an environment in which the main opposition Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito will agree to enter negotiations on the bill.
政府と民主党はまず、自民、公明両党が法案を巡る協議に応じるための環境作りに、全力を注がなければならない。

===

Consider multiple tax rates
 ◆複数税率も検討課題だ◆

The bill's main pillar is to raise the consumption tax rate in two stages to 8 percent in April 2014 and to 10 percent in October 2015.
 法案は、消費税率を2014年4月に8%、15年10月に10%へ2段階で引き上げることが柱だ。

Eighteen years have passed since the Diet decided to raise the consumption tax rate to the current 5 percent. Over that time, the outstanding debt of both the central and local governments has ballooned due to deteriorating fiscal conditions. This debt is projected to reach about 900 trillion yen--a record high--at the end of fiscal 2011, which ends Saturday.
 国会が現行の5%への引き上げを決めてから18年。この間、財政の悪化で、国と地方の債務残高は膨れあがり、11年度末には過去最悪の約900兆円に達する。

Deep spending cuts will be essential for fiscal reconstruction, but this cannot be achieved simply by streamlining administrative bodies and services.
 財政再建には徹底的な歳出削減が不可欠だが、行政のスリム化だけでは到底追いつかない。

In the end, it will be unavoidable to raise the rate of the consumption tax, which provides a stable source of revenue for the government.
 結局、安定財源である消費税の税率引き上げは避けて通れない道である。

The bill's supplementary provision stipulates that the government will carry out measures aiming for a nominal economic growth rate of about 3 percent and a real economic growth rate of about 2 percent, as an elastic clause linking the tax hike to the state of the economy. This makes an economic turnaround a condition for implementing a higher consumption tax rate.
 法案には、景気弾力条項として「名目3%程度、実質2%程度」の経済成長率を目指す施策を実施する、と明記された。

The prime minister stated these figures in the clause are not preconditions for the tax hike. We think Noda's position is appropriate.
 首相が、これに関連し、「税率引き上げの前提条件ではない」と述べたのは当然である。

Over the past 20 years, the country's nominal growth rate has remained almost zero. Given this, it will not be easy to achieve such growth targets. It is of course necessary for the government to try to generate economic growth. However, it must not allow opponents to exploit these figures to justify their attempts to stop the tax increase.
 この20年間の名目成長率はほぼゼロであり、達成は容易ではない。無論、政府は経済成長に努力すべきだ。しかし、この目標を、反対派が増税阻止の根拠に使おうとしても認めてはなるまい。

As steps to alleviate the burden that a higher consumption tax rate would impose on low-income earners, the bill incorporates a so-called negative income tax, which combines tax exemptions and benefit provisions. It also sets a limit on the total amount of social security-related payments to be shouldered by low-income earners.
 低所得者対策として、法案は、減税や現金給付を行う「給付付き税額控除」や、社会保障の合計自己負担額に上限を設ける「総合合算制度」などを盛り込んだ。

Though some DPJ members are calling for taking bolder measures, it is important that the government not expand such systems to an unnecessary scale. Doing so would leave the door open to characterizing them as dole-out policies.
 民主党内には、大規模な対策を求める声があるが、必要以上に規模を膨らませ、ばらまき色の強い内容にしないことが大切だ。

European countries have introduced a so-called multiple tax rate system, under which tax rates on food and other daily necessities are kept low to lesson burdens on family finances. In many countries, tax rates are set at zero or extremely low for newspapers and books. We believe implementing a multiple tax rate system is worth consideration in Japan, too.
 欧州では、家計負担を軽くするため、食料品など生活必需品の税率を低く抑える複数税率を採用している。新聞や書籍も税率をゼロや大幅に低くする国が多い。複数税率導入も検討すべきだろう。

 ◆民主は大胆に歩み寄れ◆

When the Cabinet gave approval to the consumption tax hike bill, Shizuka Kamei, the head of the People's New Party, declared his party would split from the ruling coalition.
 法案の閣議決定にあたり、国民新党は、亀井代表が連立離脱を宣言した。

However, Shozaburo Jimi, state minister for postal reform and financial services, and a majority of other PNP members refused to obey Kamei's decision and opted to stay with the Noda administration. The de facto split of the DPJ's junior ruling coalition partner at this point was inevitable.
これに同調しない自見金融相らは政権に残留した。分裂状態に陥ったのはやむを得ない。

===

DPJ must back off boldly

Some members of the group led by former DPJ leader Ichiro Ozawa also have bristled at the Cabinet decision on the tax increase, handing in letters of resignation from their government and party posts. The incident has revealed afresh the depth of the split within the DPJ.
 民主党の小沢一郎・元代表のグループの一部議員は、「閣議決定は認められない」として、政府や党の役職の辞表を提出した。民主党内の亀裂の深さを改めて浮き彫りにしたと言える。

A politically key phase of the consumption tax issue will come when the bill is put to a vote in the House of Representatives.
 衆院での法案採決が、政治的には大きなヤマ場となる。

The DPJ leadership should take every possible step to tighten unity within the party. The party also must do its utmost to earn the backing of the LDP and Komeito, as this will be essential for the bill's legislation.
党執行部は、衆院での採決に向け、党内の引き締めを図ることが重要だ。
 同時並行で、法案成立に不可欠な自民、公明両党の協力を得る努力を尽くさねばならない。

If the two major opposition parties oppose the bill in lower house deliberations, chances would be very slim of the LDP and Komeito throwing their support behind the bill in the House of Councillors.
 自公両党が衆院段階で法案に反対すれば、参院で賛成に転じる可能性は小さいからだ。

The opposition parties have been strongly opposed to DPJ plans to create a new pension program aimed at guaranteeing a minimum pension benefit. This program would require enormous revenue sources.
 膨大な財源が必要な「最低保障年金」導入など、民主党の新年金制度案に対しては野党から強い批判がある。

The DPJ initiative to abolish the medical care system for people aged 75 and older--a system introduced when the LDP and Komeito were in power--has become bogged down because of a backlash from local governments that favor keeping the system intact.
 自公政権で導入された後期高齢者医療制度を廃止するとの方針も、制度の継続を望む自治体の反発で行き詰まっている。

These were two key DPJ policy pledges for the 2009 general election in which it came to power. The party, nevertheless, should not be fastidious about implementing them. The DPJ should instead be flexible enough to decide to offer concessions to the opposition on these matters, including dropping them entirely or making drastic modifications.
 ともに民主党が政権公約(マニフェスト)で掲げた政策だが、その実現にこだわるべきではない。撤回や大幅修正など、野党側に大胆に歩み寄る決断が必要だ。

===

LDP must show flexibility

Meanwhile, consultations between the DPJ, the LDP and Komeito have led to agreements on establishing a new child benefit program to replace the current child-rearing allowance plan, as well as a bill to revise the Postal Service Privatization Law.
 民自公3党の話し合いで、子ども手当に代わる新児童手当創設や郵政民営化法改正が決まった。

Broadening consensus-building efforts among the parties will surely help quicken moves to start Diet deliberations on the consumption tax bill.
こうした合意形成を広げることが、消費税率引き上げ法案の審議入りにもプラスに働く。

 ◆自民も協議に応じよ◆

The DPJ and the LDP are in step as far as the idea of raising the consumption tax rate to 10 percent is concerned. The parties must not miss the opportunity that is before their very eyes.
 消費税率の10%への引き上げでは、民主党と自民党が足並みをそろえている。この機をみすみす逃してはならない。

LDP President Sadakazu Tanigaki still insists the lower house should be dissolved for a general election before the bill becomes law.
 自民党の谷垣総裁は、法案成立前の衆院解散・総選挙を求める姿勢を崩していない。

However, developments that follow the lower house dissolution after passage of the bill will not necessarily be disadvantageous to the LDP and Komeito. In fact, many senior LDP legislators hold this line of thought.
 だが、法案を成立させた後の衆院解散という展開は、自公両党にとって決して不利益ではないはずだ。こうした主張は自民党のベテラン議員に少なくない。

Former LDP Secretary General Bunmei Ibuki has argued what is necessary for the benefit of the public "must be done as swiftly as possible," prodding the party leadership to begin talks with the government and the DPJ about what changes should be made to the consumption tax hike bill.
 伊吹文明・元幹事長は「国民のために必要なことを一刻も早くやるべきだ」として、政府・与党との法案修正協議を促している。

We think the LDP should come out with its own counterproposal without delay on the issue and participate in consultations between the ruling and opposition parties. It is of utmost importance that the DPJ, the LDP and Komeito build up relations of mutual trust during their consultations.
 自民党は対案を示し、与野党協議に臨んでもらいたい。協議の過程で民自公3党の間に信頼関係を積み上げることが肝要である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, March 31, 2012)
(2012年3月31日01時30分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2012-04-02 05:42 | 英字新聞

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