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社会保障工程案 持続可能な制度へ必要な道筋

The Yomiuri Shimbun August 23, 2013
Social security reform bill must show path for sustainable system
社会保障工程案 持続可能な制度へ必要な道筋(8月22日付・読売社説)

Reforms to make the nation’s social security system sustainable must cover a wide variety of areas. It is important for the government to prioritize each area to steadily carry out reform measures.
 社会保障を持続可能な制度にするための改革は多岐にわたる。優先順位をつけて、着実に実行することが重要だ。

The government has approved in a Cabinet meeting the gist of a bill on social security system reform measures, which outlines a schedule for reforms. The government will submit the bill to an extraordinary Diet session in autumn.
 政府は、社会保障制度改革のプログラム法案の骨子を閣議決定した。秋の臨時国会に法案を提出する。

Based on a report compiled by the National Council on Social Security System Reform, the bill indicates plans and timetables for the reform of medical care, nursing care, the pension system and measures to deal with the low birthrate.
 この法案は、政府の社会保障制度改革国民会議がまとめた報告書を踏まえ、医療、介護、年金、少子化対策の各制度改革についての内容と工程を示すものだ。

The main focus of the reforms is to change the current social security system, in which the younger, working generation bears most of the burden of supporting the elderly, to one in which all generations proportionately share the burden.
 今回の改革の主眼は、主に現役世代の負担で高齢者を支えている現行の仕組みを、全世代が負担する形に変える点にある。

Given that the burden of the working generation will become heavier and heavier along with the low birthrate, it is unavoidable to ask elderly and high-income earners to bear more of the burden than they do now in order to maintain the social security system. In this sense we praise the stance of the current administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to tackle reform measures the previous administrations avoided.
 少子化で現役世代の負担が過重になる中、制度を維持していくには、高齢者や高所得者に、より多く負担を求めることはやむを得ない。歴代政権が避けてきた改革に取り組む姿勢は評価できる。

One such measure is to raise the share of medical expenses paid by people aged 70 to 74. Law revisions made in 2008 stipulate that people in this age group pay 20 percent of medical costs, but the then administration of the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito kept it at 10 percent as a special measure. The share has remained at 10 percent since then.
 その一つが、70~74歳の医療費窓口負担の引き上げだ。2008年の法改正で2割と定めたが、当時の自公政権が特例として1割に据え置き、現在も続いている。

However, the gist of the bill gives a great deal of latitude over the timing of raising the percentage to the legally stipulated level: sometime between fiscal 2014 and fiscal 2017. The measure should be reviewed as early as possible, taking into consideration that ¥200 billion of tax money is spent annually on the special measure.
 ただ、法定通りの水準に引き上げる時期については14~17年度と大きな幅を持たせている。特例措置のために投入される税金が年2000億円に上ることを考えると、早急に見直すべきだ。

Regarding the nursing care insurance program, the current across-the-board self-pay rate of paying 10 percent for nursing care services will be raised for high-income earners from fiscal 2015. On the other hand, the premiums for low-income elderly will be reduced.
 介護保険では、現在は一律1割となっている利用者の自己負担率を、高所得者の場合、15年度から引き上げる。一方で、低所得高齢者の介護保険料は軽減する。

Fairness among the elderly

There is a large disparity in incomes among the elderly. It is appropriate to increase the burden on high-income earners and reduce that of low-income earners as a way to seek fairness among the elderly.
 高齢者の間でも、所得の格差は大きい。高所得者の負担を増やし、低所得者の負担を減らすことは、高齢世代内の公平を図るうえで妥当と言える。

Concerning pension reform, the bill lists some reform measures requiring further study, but only says, “Necessary measures will be carried out after studying these measures.” The government did not make clear when it will carry out pension reform, probably because it will take time to design concrete reform measures.
 年金改革については「検討を加え、必要な措置を講じる」とするにとどまった。実施時期を明示しなかったのは、具体的な制度設計に時間がかかるからだろう。

The report of the national council made clear the direction of social security reform, such as increasing tax on pensioners with high incomes and introducing a mechanism to hold down pension benefits in response to changes in wage levels even in a deflationary period.
 国民会議の報告書では、高所得者の年金に対する課税の強化や、デフレ下でも賃金水準の変化に応じて年金支給額を抑制できる仕組みの導入といった改革の方向性は明記されている。

People who live on pensions are subject to large tax deductions and can receive greater net incomes than salaried workers receiving the same gross income. To lessen young generations’ sense of being imposed on, it is necessary to impose a heavier tax on high-income earners.
 年金生活者は税の控除が大きく、同じ収入の給与所得者に比べ手取り額が多い。若い世代の負担感を軽減するためにも、高所得層への年金課税の強化は必要だ。

It is indispensable to hold down the payments pensioners receive to stabilize the pension system.
 年金支給額の抑制は年金財政を安定させるうえで欠かせない。

If the government cannot even say when to carry out such important reform, we doubt the sustainability of the pension system.
 こうした重要な改革の実施に見通しを立てられないようでは、年金制度の持続可能性に疑問符がつく。

To formulate concrete pension reform measures, the government must quickly study when to carry out pension reform.
改革案を具体化させるため、実施時期の検討を急ぐべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 22, 2013)
(2013年8月22日01時22分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2013-08-24 07:10 | 英字新聞

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