首相の会見 納得できぬ責任転嫁

--The Asahi Shimbun, June 2
EDITORIAL: Abe shifts blame from himself for his decision to delay tax hike
(社説)首相の会見 納得できぬ責任転嫁

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s explanation about why he decided to delay the scheduled consumption tax hike again is far from convincing.
In a June 1 news conference, Abe tried--but failed--to make his case that there is a compelling case to delay the increase in the consumption tax rate to 10 percent, slated for April 2017.
 とても納得できる説明ではない。安倍首相のきのうの記者会見はそう評価せざるを得ない。

The long and short of what he said at the news conference is this:

 アベノミクスは順調だ。しかし新興国の経済が陰っている。だから来年春の10%への消費増税は延期し、この秋に大胆な経済対策をまとめる。財政再建の旗は降ろさない――。発言を要約すればこうなる。

Far from being convincing, his call for “revving up the engine of Abenomics as much as possible” raises concerns about heightened risks involved in his expansionary economic policy program.
 納得どころか、「アベノミクスのエンジンを最大にふかす」と強調されては、その危うさがさらに膨らみかねないと不安が募る。

This will be the second delay in the tax increase. It was originally scheduled for October 2015, but Abe in November 2014 announced the postponement of the step to April 2017.
Since that announcement, Abe had reiterated that he would go ahead with the plan to raise the tax rate to 10 percent unless Japan is hit by serious economic tumult, like the global crisis triggered by the 2008 collapse of U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers or the downturn following the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake.
 リーマン・ショックや東日本大震災のような経済混乱が生じない限り、10%への消費増税は必ず実施する。前回、消費増税の延期を表明した14年11月の記者会見以来、首相はこう繰り返してきた。

In the June 1 news conference, Abe admitted that nothing like the “Lehman shock” crisis is taking shape. He also denied that his change of mind had been caused by the series of strong earthquakes that have rocked Kumamoto Prefecture and surrounding areas since mid-April.
 きのう首相は「リーマン・ショック級の事態は発生していない」と認め、熊本地震を理由にするつもりもないと述べた。

On the other hand, Abe contended that Abenomics had produced notable results, pointing to job and income growth.
一方で、雇用の増加や所得の上昇を挙げ、アベノミクスの成果に自信を見せた。

If that’s his view about the economy, he should raise the consumption tax as planned to cure the government’s fiscal ills and enhance the financial standing of the social security system.
 ならば、財政再建と社会保障財源充実のために、消費増税を予定通り実施するのが筋だ。

In trying to justify his move, Abe mentioned concerns about the economic health of key emerging countries, including China.
 首相が引き合いに出したのが、中国をはじめとする新興国経済の不安である。

During the recent Ise-Shima summit of the Group of Seven major industrial nations, Abe repeatedly referred to the global recession caused by the failure of Lehman Brothers. But the leaders of Britain and Germany refused to buy his argument.
 先の伊勢志摩サミットでは何度もリーマン・ショックに触れ、英独両国の首脳らから異議が出た。

While Abe admitted that the current situation is not similar to the aftermath of Lehman Brothers’ demise, he pointed to overseas economic uncertainties as the reason behind his policy decision. By doing so, he has effectively shifted the responsibility to emerging countries.
今回はリーマン・ショックとは異なることを認めたものの、海外経済の不透明感を増税延期の理由にするのは、新興国への責任転嫁に等しい。

As for pushing back the tax increase by two-and-a-half years to October 2019, Abe claimed that is the maximum possible delay that can be made without giving up the government’s target of restoring fiscal health by fiscal 2020.
 首相は2年半の先送りについて「20年度の財政健全化目標を堅持するギリギリのタイミングにした」と言う。

The fiscal rehabilitation target is an extremely ambitious one that will not be achieved even if the consumption tax is raised as planned and the Japanese economy grows at rates over 3 percent annually.
 健全化目標は、消費増税を実施し、毎年度3%を超える経済成長を達成してもなお及ばない遠い目標だ。

Reaching the target requires constant efforts to review and reform the budget for substantial spending cuts. But Abe’s approach is totally dependent on revenue growth expected from economic stimulus, which is no more than a shot in the arm. Is this the right way to tackle the formidable challenge?
不断に予算を見直し、地道な努力を積み重ねることが不可欠なのに、経済対策というカンフル剤による税収増を当て込むばかりでよいのか。

Abe also said he will seek a public mandate for this policy decision in the upcoming Upper House election.
 首相はこの新たな判断について「参院選を通して国民の信を問う」という。

Few people would welcome a tax hike even if they understand the need for the step.
 増税の必要性は理解してもそれを歓迎する国民は少ない。

In a recent Asahi Shimbun poll, 59 percent of the respondents said the tax increase should be postponed, compared with 29 percent who said the step should not be delayed.
朝日新聞の世論調査でも、10%への引き上げを「延期すべきだ」とした人は59%で「すべきではない」の29%を上回っている。

Abe’s request for voters to support his decision to delay an unpopular measure is tantamount to pushing the pretext that the public has approved his broken policy promise.
 不人気な政策の先送りを問うことで自らの公約違反にお墨付きを得ようとする。

It is actually a scheme to take advantage of public sentiment about the tax hike to shunt his responsibility for the controversial move to the voting public.
これは、国民感情を逆手にとった有権者への責任転嫁でもある。

Voters need to express their views about the prime minister’s self-centered political maneuver in the Upper House election.
 参院選で問われるべきは、むしろこうした首相の身勝手さではないか。
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2016-06-03 11:03 | 英字新聞

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