「ほっ」と。キャンペーン

大型補正予算―昔の自民のままですか

--The Asahi Shimbun, Jan. 11
EDITORIAL: LDP remains unchanged in its return to power
大型補正予算―昔の自民のままですか

We cannot help thinking that the Liberal Democratic Party has not changed.
 自民党は変わっていない。そう思わざるをえない。

The administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has decided the outline of a supplementary budget for fiscal 2012, which ends in March 2013.
 安倍政権が、今年度の補正予算の概要を固めた。

The total government expenditure in the budget is slightly more than 13 trillion yen ($146 billion), which is close to the record high of 14.7 trillion yen set by the supplementary budget compiled in spring 2009 by the administration of then-Prime Minister Taro Aso.
 国の支出総額は13兆円強と、09年春に麻生政権がまとめた過去最大の補正予算に迫る。

Excluding planned government expenditures for the basic pension programs from the 13 trillion yen, the remaining 10 trillion yen will be used for "emergency economic measures." Of that amount, half will be spent on public works projects. The funds for those public works will be covered with the issuance of government bonds. As a result, the total amount of government bonds issued in fiscal 2012, including that of the initial budget for that year, is expected to come close to 50 trillion yen.
 基礎年金の国庫負担分を除いた10兆円余の「緊急経済対策」のうち、公共事業が半分を占める。財源は国債の発行だ。当初予算と合わせた今年度の国債発行額は、50兆円に近づく見通しだ。

At present, the government’s total debts stand at around 1,000 trillion yen. In such a situation, the Abe administration is emphasizing that its fiscal policies will first realize economic growth to increase tax revenues. “We will deal with the (serious fiscal) situation flexibly in the short term and with discipline in the mid- to long term,” he says.
 国の借金残高が1千兆円に達するなか、安倍政権は財政運営について、「まず経済成長を実現し、税収を増やす」「短期は柔軟に、中・長期は規律をもって」と強調する。

We are not going to deny such thinking completely. However, we get the impression that the Liberal Democratic Party is going on a spending spree out of elation that it was able to take back the reins of the government.
 そうした考えを頭から否定するつもりはない。しかし、政権復帰に浮かれたかのような大盤振る舞いがすぎないか。

Under names such as “reconstruction and disaster prevention” and “establishment of safe living conditions and revitalization of local communities,” the amount of public works projects in the supplementary budget was increased to a level comparable to that of an annual budget. Since there is no way the entire amount can be spent within fiscal 2012, the budget is virtually reserved for fiscal 2013 and beyond.
 公共事業は「復興・防災」や「暮らしの安心・地域活性化」を名目に、年間予算に匹敵する額に積み上げられた。今年度中に使い切れるはずはなく、先々への予約の様相だ。

In the area of defense, the cost for purchasing missiles from abroad is positioned as part of the economic measures on grounds that Japanese companies are involved in their production process.
 防衛分野でも、生産に日本企業がかかわるとして、ミサイル購入費などが経済対策に位置づけられるという。

Those “unreasonable” expenditures were approved because the LDP had first decided that the amount for the economic measures should be as large as 10 trillion yen.
 「まず金額ありき」で、与党が早々に「10兆円規模」を打ち出したことの弊害である。

The decision reminds us of the supplementary budgets compiled in the autumn of 2011 in response to the Great East Japan Earthquake and in the spring of 2009 to stimulate the economy.
 思い出すのは、東日本大震災を受けた11年秋、そして09年春の補正予算だ。

The LDP and New Komeito, both of which were opposition parties at the time, had much to do with the compilation of the post-quake supplementary budget. But far-fetched “piggyback” expenditures not directly related to the recovery of stricken areas became prevalent.
 震災復興の補正には、野党だった自民、公明両党も深くかかわったが、被災地再建とは直接関係のない便乗・こじつけ型の支出が横行した。

The supplementary budget of spring 2009, decided under the Aso administration in response to a sudden economic slowdown caused by the collapse of U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers in September 2008, also put priority on the total budget amount. In fact, it was so lavish that it eventually led the Board of Audit to point out various wasteful expenditures.
 麻生政権の09年春の補正も、リーマン・ショックによる急激な経済の落ち込みを受け、規模が優先された。その後、会計検査院からさまざまな無駄が指摘される始末だった。

In the Dec. 16 Lower House election, the LDP advocated “the strengthening of the national land” as a mainstay of its election pledges. Now, the LDP headquarters is busy dealing with officials of industry associations who are flocking there with petitions. Is this large-scale supplementary budget a gift of gratitude to them for supporting the LDP in the Lower House election and also a means to obtain their support in the Upper House election slated for summer 2013?
 先の衆院選で自民党は「国土強靱(きょうじん)化」を公約の柱に掲げた。いま、党本部は陳情に訪れる業界団体の関係者らで大にぎわいだ。大型の補正予算は、衆院選での支持のお礼と夏の参院選に向けた期待料なのか。

The big supplementary budget was also compiled to boost the economy in the first half of fiscal 2013 as economic growth in that period is believed to be necessary to make the final decision in the autumn of this year on the consumption tax hike scheduled for spring 2014.
 大型補正には、13年度前半の景気を押し上げる思惑もある。来春の消費増税の実施をこの秋に最終判断する際、その数値がカギを握るからだ。

If even the Finance Ministry--which is supposed to play a leading role in reducing the government's debts--is falling into step with plans to increase spending in order to be able to raise the consumption tax, the situation is truly deplorable.
 財政再建の旗振り役であるべき財務省までが増税実現のための歳出増で歩調を合わせたのなら何をかいわんや、である。

In the beginning of this year, an income tax increase started for the advancement of post-quake reconstruction activities. Going forward, consumers will be required to shoulder heavier financial burdens one after another, including a consumption tax hike.
 年明けから所得税で震災復興増税が始まった。今後も消費増税など負担増は目白押しだ。

In such a situation, taxpayers are sure to raise objections if the government keeps compiling such generous budgets.
 こんな予算編成を続けていては、納税者が黙っていまい。
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2013-01-13 06:56 | 英字新聞

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