消費税10%対策 国民への配慮を欠く財務省案

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Shun benefit payment that slights the public / LDP, Komeito should aim for lower tax rate
消費税10%対策 国民への配慮を欠く財務省案

 ◆自公両党は軽減税率の導入貫け

On top of having little effect to alleviate the public’s sense of pain in paying taxes after an increase in the consumption tax rate, the current proposal would most likely force people to bear needless burdens. A system replete with flaws should never be adopted.
 消費増税に伴う痛税感を和らげる効果に乏しい上に、国民に無用の負担を強いる。欠陥だらけの制度を、採用するわけにはいかない。

The Finance Ministry has presented to the ruling coalition parties’ tax system reform consultative council a draft the ministry touts as a plan aimed at easing the public’s burdens when the consumption tax rate is raised to 10 percent. The scheme is designed to impose a 10 percent tax on all purchases by consumers and pay back benefits to them at a later date an amount worth 2 percentage points of the tax payments levied on food and beverage items, except alcoholic beverages.
 財務省が、消費税率を10%に引き上げる際の負担緩和策の原案を、与党税制協議会に示した。全品目に10%の税率を課したうえで、酒類を除く飲食料品については、税率2%相当額を後日、国民に給付する仕組みである。

Under this plan, there could be no lowering of payments at the time of purchases, meaning it would play no role in preventing spending on consumption from falling. The ruling parties should turn down the ministry’s draft, and introduce instead a reduced tax rate system in the true sense of the term to ensure tax rates on daily necessities such as food are kept down.
 これでは、購入時の支払額は減らず、消費の落ち込みを防ぐ役割は果たせまい。与党は財務省案を退け、食料品など生活必需品の税率を低く抑える本来の軽減税率を導入するべきだ。

Shabby dole-out policy
 ◆みっともないバラマキ

The Finance Ministry describes its tax burden alleviation measures as a “Japanese version of a reduced tax rate system.”
 財務省は負担緩和策を「日本型軽減税率」と称している。

Skeptical views were voiced one after another at the coalition parties’ consultative panel meeting on Thursday, such as that the idea put forth by the ministry should be deemed at best a “pseudo-reduced rate method.” This is because applying the same tax rate on all goods and paying cash later to the public is nothing but a government benefit measure.
 これに対し、協議会のメンバーから、「軽減税率もどきではないか」などと、疑問の声が相次いだ。全品目に同じ税率を適用し、後からお金を配るのでは、給付金制度にほかならないからだ。

Bunmei Ibuki, who is a former finance minister and an authority on taxation affairs, at a meeting the same day of the Liberal Democratic Party’s Nikai faction — led by party General Council Chairman Toshihiro Nikai — harshly criticized the ministry’s plan, saying it is “an idea disgraceful for the Finance Ministry, as it could amount to a dole-out measure like a welfare benefit.”
 財務相経験者で、税制に詳しい伊吹文明・元衆院議長も自民党二階派の会合で、「財務省にしては、みっともない案だ。福祉給付金のようなバラマキになる」と、厳しく批判した。

In their common electoral pledge for the House of Representatives election in December 2014, the LDP and its ruling coalition partner Komeito did commit to introducing a reduced tax rate system at the time of the consumption tax being hiked to 10 percent. Should the ruling parties adopt the ministry’s draft and insist obstinately that it should be considered a form of reduced tax rate formula, that would be tantamount to duping the public.
 自民、公明両党は2014年12月の衆院選共通公約で、消費税10%時に軽減税率を導入することを明記した。財務省案を採用し、軽減税率だと強弁すれば、国民を欺くことになる。

The ministry’s draft calls for setting no limits on incomes for eligibility for receiving the benefits, with a view to having the benefits paid to people in all income brackets, including high-income persons. At the same time, the ministry is poised to set a cap on the benefits at around ¥5,000 a year per person.
 財務省案では、所得制限は設けず、高所得者も含めて広く薄く給付金を支給する。一方で、給付額には1人当たり年5000円程度の上限を設ける方向だ。

When the government raised the consumption tax rate to 8 percent in April 2014, it used what the government referred to as a “plain benefit measure” of lump-sum payouts ranging from ¥10,000 to ¥15,000 per person among low-income people, but that measure failed to produce any tangible effect in shoring up the economy. The ministry-proposed benefit measure would have an even lesser impact.
 政府は14年4月に消費税率を8%に上げた際、低所得者に1万~1万5000円を支給する「簡素な給付措置」を実施したが、景気下支え効果はなかった。今回はさらにインパクトが弱い。

Likewise, little effect could be hoped for from the ministry-envisaged plan in mitigating the sense of burden on low-income earners.
 所得が低い人の負担感を緩和する効果も期待薄である。

No help for less well-off
 ◆低所得者への恩恵薄く

Many members of the ruling parties’ tax system panel also expressed skepticism about whether it was realistic to use My Number ID cards to calculate the amount of consumption tax on purchases of food and beverages.
 協議会では、飲食料品の消費税額を把握するためにマイナンバー(共通番号)カードを活用することについても、実現性を危ぶむ声が多数上がった。

When making a purchase at a shop, a consumer will hold their card up to an ID card-reading terminal unit. This purchase information will then be collected at a newly established “center for accumulating data on reimbursement.” The consumer will then either go down to the tax office or elsewhere or apply online for the benefit payment.
 買い物の時、店頭の読み取り機にカードをかざすと、新設の「還付ポイント蓄積センター」にデータが集約される。消費者は、税務署などに出向くか、インターネットなどで給付金を請求する。

The consumption tax rate is scheduled to be increased to 10 percent in April 2017. Will it be possible to ensure terminal units are installed at every single one of the estimated 800,000 retailers and food outlets across Japan by then? Even the distribution of My Number cards might not be completed at that stage.
 消費税10%が予定される17年4月までに、全国に約80万もあると見られる小売りや外食の事業者すべてに、読み取り機を設置できるだろうか。マイナンバーカード自体の配布も間に合うまい。

Each terminal is expected to cost tens of thousands of yen to purchase and install. Making sure that the payment system stretches across the entire nation also will entail other costs. Maintaining and managing the new data center, bank transfer fees to be paid when remitting benefit payment, and the labor costs of employees in charge of this work are just some of the factors that will create a new financial burden.
 1台数万円とされる設置費や、全国にシステムを張り巡らせるコストもかかる。センターの維持・管理費や給付金の振込手数料、担当職員の人件費なども新たな財政負担となる。

At the panel meeting, a member of the Liberal Democratic Party who had misgivings about the benefit payment system likened it to the building method that caused the construction costs of the New National Stadium to balloon. “We must not allow this to become a second case of ‘keel arches,’” the member said, referring to the gigantic arches envisaged to support a retractable roof at the stadium.
 協議会では、新国立競技場の建設費増大の原因となった工法になぞらえて、「第2のキールアーチになってはいけない」と危惧する意見も自民党から出た。

Another panel member pointed to the complications involved in getting consumers to use the system, and wondered whether it is realistic to expect every resident to carry their My Number card every time they go shopping.
 このほか、「全国民が買い物のたびにマイナンバーカードを持ち歩くことは、現実味があるのか」と、消費者が制度を利用するために強いられる煩雑さの指摘もあった。

Many people are also concerned that their personal information could be leaked or unlawfully used if the cards are lost or stolen.
 カードの紛失や盗難で、個人情報の流出や悪用による被害が出ることを懸念する向きは多い。

At a press conference, Finance Minister Taro Aso said: “If people don’t want to carry their cards, they don’t have to carry them. They will just miss out on the reduced tax by that much.” It appears Aso does not understand at all the true sentiment of people who are having a tough time managing the household budget.
 麻生財務相は記者会見で、「カードを持っていきたくなければ、持っていかないでいい。その代わり、その分だけの減税はない」と述べた。家計のやりくりに苦心する国民の実情を、全く理解していないのではないか。

Some elderly people and others who would want to get the benefit payment have not mastered the use of personal computers and smartphones. We think a reduced consumption tax rate that does not impose any unnecessary trouble on people would be a fairer, simpler system for everybody.
 給付を受けたくても、パソコンやスマートフォンを使いこなせない高齢者などもいる。余計な手間のかからない軽減税率の方が、全ての国民にとって公平かつ優しい制度である。

Learn from Europe
 ◆欧州の先例を見習おう

The Finance Ministry’s reasoning for avoiding the introduction of a lower tax rate on some items is that it would be difficult to draw a line between items subject to the lower rate and those that are not, and that having several rates would generate a heavy administrative burden when compiling invoices where tax amounts are entered for every transaction.
 財務省は、軽減税率の導入を避ける理由として、対象品目の線引きの難しさや、複数税率化によって、取引ごとに税額を記入するインボイス(税額票)作成にかかる事務負担の重さを挙げる。

Selecting items to be subject to a lower tax rate would indeed require considerable time and effort. But adjusting the advantages and disadvantages of the tax system and making it realistic is precisely the primary duty of politics.
 確かに対象品目の選定は手間がかかるが、税制を巡る利害を調整し、実現を図ることこそが、政治本来の責務である。

Major countries in Europe have implemented lower tax rates on some items for more than half a century.
 欧州各国では、半世紀も前から軽減税率を導入している。

These lower rates are imposed on food and also newspapers and books, which are essential for preserving the culture of the printed word. Concerns over invoices have not hindered commercial transactions in any way in these nations.
 食料品をはじめ、活字文化の保護に欠かせない新聞や書籍が対象だ。インボイスも、商取引の障害とはなっていない。

There is no reason why today’s Japan could not implement such a system.
 今の日本で、実施できないわけがあるまい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Sept. 11, 2015)Speech
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2015-09-12 08:43 | 英字新聞

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