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最低賃金上げ 中小企業への目配りも大切だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Spare a thought for smaller firms in light of minimum wage hike
最低賃金上げ 中小企業への目配りも大切だ

To shore up consumption and help the economy finally shake off the shackles of deflation, it is vital that wages are raised.
 消費を下支えし、デフレを脱却するには、賃金の底上げが重要だ。

The Central Minimum Wages Council, a panel of the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry, has agreed to recommend that Japan’s minimum hourly wages for fiscal 2014 be increased by ¥16 on average from the previous year.
 厚生労働省の中央最低賃金審議会が、今年度の最低賃金(時給)の引き上げ幅を全国平均で16円とする目安を決めた。

This would be a double-digit increase for the second consecutive year, and is expected to bump up the average minimum hourly wage to ¥780. In response to this recommendation, committees in prefectures across the nation will make final decisions on the increase to ensure the minimum wage fairly reflects local conditions. The new standards will be adopted in or around October.
 2年連続で2桁の大幅アップとなり、最低賃金は平均780円に上昇する見込みだ。この目安を参考に、各都道府県の審議会が地域の実情を踏まえて金額を決め、10月ごろに改定される。

Currently, after-tax income earned by a worker on the minimum wage is less than they would receive in welfare benefits in Tokyo, Hokkaido and three other prefectures. This so-called reversal phenomenon, in which welfare benefits exceed the minimum wage, can deflate a worker’s incentive to keep working, a development that is rightly viewed as problematic.
 最低賃金を巡っては、生活保護の給付水準を下回る「逆転現象」が、労働意欲を損なうとして問題視されてきた。現在も5都道県で生じている。

The latest hike in the minimum wage is forecast to resolve this problem in all five prefectures—a development we warmly welcome.
 今回の引き上げで、それがすべて解消される見通しとなったことは、評価できよう。

The monthly income of a full-time worker earning the minimum wage will rise by an average of ¥2,500. With the increase of nonpermanent workers in recent years, many households whose breadwinner is on the minimum wage are barely making ends meet. The value of lifting the minimum wage is considerable.
 最低賃金でフルタイム働いた場合の月収は、平均で2500円程度増える。非正規労働者の増加で、一家の担い手が最低賃金ぎりぎりで働くケースも多い。引き上げの意義は小さくない。

It is a fact that Japan’s minimum wage is among the lowest of advanced nations.
 日本の最低賃金が、先進国の中で低い水準にあるのも事実だ。

Buoyed by increasing signs of an economic recovery, this year’s shunto spring labor-management wage negotiations generated a wave of wage hikes, mainly for regular employees of major companies. However, amid rising prices and April’s increase in the consumption tax rate, the income for household budgets is effectively shrinking.
 景気の回復傾向を受け、今春闘で大企業を中心に賃上げが相次いだ。しかし、物価上昇に消費増税の影響も加わり、家計の実質的な収入は目減りしている。

For nonregular workers and employees at small and midsize companies, moves toward wage increases have been lukewarm.
 非正規労働者や、中小・零細企業では、賃上げの動きは鈍い。

Share the benefits around

There is growing frustration that the benefits of Abenomics, the bold economic policies of the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, are not reaching every corner of society.
 安倍政権の経済政策「アベノミクス」の恩恵が及んでいないとの不満も強まっている。

The proposed hefty minimum wage increase appears to reflect the strong desire of the administration to haul the economy out of deflation. Health, Labor and Welfare Minister Norihisa Tamura had called for an increase in minimum wage “equivalent to last year’s rise, or higher.”
 今回の大幅アップは、デフレ脱却を軌道に乗せたい政権の強い意向を反映したものと言えよう。田村厚労相は「昨年並みか、それより良い成果」を求めていた。

In recent years, more young people have been working in nonregular jobs and earning minimum wage. There has been a noticeable increase in people giving up on getting married and having children due to their financial situations. This has been a major factor in the accelerating decline in the population due to the nation’s low birth rate.
 若年層に低賃金の非正規雇用が増え、結婚や子育てをあきらめる人も目立つ。少子化を加速させる大きな要因となっている。

Raising the minimum wage is thus also vital from the perspective of countering the falling population.
最低賃金の引き上げは、人口減対策の観点からも重要である。

The public and private sectors should make efforts to ensure higher wages also spread to nonregular workers and other employees.
 非正規労働者などにも賃上げが波及するよう、官民を挙げた取り組みが求められる。

There are concerns that raising the minimum wage could put a squeeze on the management of small and midsize businesses. Many of these companies are already enduring tough financial conditions as they bear the brunt of soaring fuel and raw material costs due to the weaker yen.
 心配なのは、最低賃金の引き上げが、中小・零細企業の経営を圧迫しないかという点だ。多くの企業が、円安による原材料価格や燃料費の高騰に直面し、厳しい経営状況にある。

Simply telling these companies to boost wages could worsen their business performance even further. There are also fears that negative consequences, such as companies laying off employees, could escalate.
 賃金の引き上げを求めるだけでは、さらなる業績の悪化を招きかねない。従業員の解雇など弊害が拡大する恐れもある。

We think the government should keep a close eye on the actual state of small and midsize companies and prepare effective assistance for them, such as supporting their moves into sectors where growth is anticipated.
 政府は、中小企業の実情に目配りし、成長分野への進出を後押しするなど、効果的な支援策に取り組むべきだろう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 31, 2014)
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by kiyoshimat | 2014-08-02 07:27 | 英字新聞

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