財政再建 借金大国からの脱却目指せ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 7, 2012)
Parties must confront nation's debt dependence
財政再建 借金大国からの脱却目指せ(12月6日付・読売社説)

What can be done to rebuild the nation's finances, which are the worst among advanced nations? Financial reconstruction is an issue that will heavily influence Japan's future.
 先進国で最悪の財政をどう立て直すか。日本の将来を大きく左右する問題だ。

However, there has not been very much debate on the issue in the campaigning for the Dec. 16 general election. Parties must show their resolve in dealing with this problem.
しかし、衆院選では、議論が深まっていない。各党は、財政再建に向けた覚悟を示す必要がある。

Japan's finances are facing a critical situation. Tax revenues have been continuing to decrease due to the prolonged economic downturn following the bursting of the bubble economy in the 1990s. At the same time, welfare costs have ballooned due to the rapid aging of the population, and successive economic stimulus packages have swelled expenditures.
 日本の財政は危機的状況だ。1990年代以降、バブル崩壊後の不況で税収は減り続けている。一方、急速な高齢化によって社会保障費が増大し、度重なる景気対策で歳出が膨張した。

Annual government bond issuance to fill the gap between tax revenues and expenditures has been in the 50 trillion yen range in recent years. About half of the 90 trillion yen general account budget for fiscal 2012 was procured from the issuance of bonds. The nation's dependence on borrowing is serious.
 税収と歳出のギャップを埋めるため、政府はここ数年、年間50兆円規模の国債を発行している。2012年度も一般会計の総額90兆円のうち、半分を占めるという深刻な借金財政に陥った。

It is appalling that the issuance of new bonds has exceeded tax revenues for three years in a row. If today's excessively low interest rates begin climbing upward, the burden of interest payments will increase significantly, making it even more difficult for the government to rebuild its finances.
 新たな借金が3年連続で税収を上回る現状は、尋常ではない。現在の超低金利が上昇に転じれば、国債の利払いが一気に増大し、財政再建は一段と困難になろう。

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Show path to rebuild finances

In their campaign platforms, the Democratic Party of Japan and the Liberal Democratic Party both have stated a goal of achieving a surplus in the primary balance by fiscal 2020 so that the government could secure policy-related expenses mainly from tax revenues without issuing new bonds. However, both parties have failed to show concrete methods on how to achieve the goal.
 民主、自民両党は政権公約で、新規の借金をせずに政策的経費を税収などでまかなえるよう、基礎的な財政収支を20年度までに黒字化する目標を掲げている。だが、その道筋は示されていない。

The first step toward sound public finances is to steadily implement the two-stage consumption tax hike scheduled to take place in April 2014 and October 2015 and to move forward the integrated reform of the social security and tax systems. Even after the consumption tax rate is raised to 10 percent, the government is expected to face an uphill battle to rebuild the nation's finances.
 財政健全化の第一歩は、14年4月と15年10月に予定される消費税率の2段階引き上げを確実に実施し、社会保障・税一体改革を進めることだ。ただし、消費税率が10%になっても、財政再建の道のりは依然として厳しい。

However, such parties as Nippon Mirai no To (Tomorrow Party of Japan), the Japanese Communist Party and Your Party have taken positions against the consumption tax hike, claiming that the government should trim wasteful budget spending first. We wonder how they would cover the surge of welfare costs without a tax hike.
 ところが、日本未来の党、共産党、みんなの党などは反増税を掲げ、「消費増税の前に予算のムダを減らすべきだ」と主張する。膨らむ社会保障費を増税なしで、どうカバーしようというのか。

There is no room for the government to fall deeper into debt by further relying on government bonds, and ask future generations to clean up the mess. It is difficult to call them responsible parties as long as they tout overly optimistic future prospects that have no foundation and evade taking necessary measures that would be painful.
 国債に依存して借金を重ね、将来世代に負担をつけ回す余裕はない。根拠のない甘い見通しを掲げ、痛みから逃げるだけでは、責任政党とは言えない。

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Ishin's problematic proposal

There are also problems in the aim of Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) to make the consumption tax a local tax after raising its rate to 11 percent.
 消費税率を11%に引き上げて地方税化するという日本維新の会の主張にも問題が多い。

Will it ever be possible for local governments to collect consumption tax by themselves without the help of the central government, and distribute the money properly? It is also doubtful the central government would be able to find other revenue sources to cover social security costs.
 国を介さず地方が独自に消費税を徴収して配分したり、社会保障は国が別財源で手当てしたりすることが可能だろうか。

Looking at parties' campaign platforms, we have to say their efforts on spending cuts are far from sufficient. The platforms include plans to support farming and implement public works projects, measures that could result in recklessly handing out taxpayers' money. The LDP has pledged to cut personnel expenses of government officials and to review livelihood protection allowances, but their effect on spending cuts will be small.
 歳出削減についても、各党の公約は踏み込み不足だ。ばらまき色の強い農業支援や公共事業などが並ぶ。自民党は公務員人件費削減や生活保護見直しを掲げているが、歳出削減の規模は小さい。

It will be important for the government to preferentially allocate limited budget resources to economic fields expected to grow in the near future, as this may result in increased tax revenues. We urge parties to more fully debate budgetary reforms that challenge the vested interests of the people concerned.
 限られた予算を将来の税収増につながる成長分野に重点的に振り向けることが重要だ。各党は既得権に切り込む予算改革をもっと議論すべきである。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 6, 2012)
(2012年12月6日01時09分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2012-12-08 06:51 | 英字新聞

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