骨太方針素案 財政再建への踏み込みが甘い

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Govt must present clear measures to cut spending in fiscal reform plan
骨太方針素案 財政再建への踏み込みが甘い

The basic idea to seek both economic growth and fiscal reconstruction is appropriate, but strong enthusiasm for reducing government spending cannot be felt.
経済成長と財政再建の二兎にとを追う基本的な考え方は妥当だが、歳出削減への強い意気込みが感じられない。

The government has compiled the draft outline of its Basic Policies for Economic and Fiscal Management and Reform.
政府が、「経済財政運営と改革の基本方針」(骨太の方針)の素案をまとめた。

The government, in the draft outline, sets a medium-term target of cutting the deficit in fiscal 2018 to about 1 percent of gross domestic product as a step toward achieving the government goal of turning the primary balance of the central and local governments into a surplus by fiscal 2020.
2020年度に国と地方の基礎的財政収支を黒字化する政府目標の達成に向け、18年度の赤字を国内総生産(GDP)の1%程度に抑える中間目標を設けた。

The central government designated the three years until fiscal 2018 as a period for intensive reform and showed a “criterion” of limiting rises in general account spending, excluding redemptions of government bonds and certain other items, to about ¥1.6 trillion for the three years to March 2019. The draft outline calls on the government to limit growth in social security costs, which are expected to increase by ¥1 trillion each year, to ¥1.5 trillion for the three years.
18年度までの3年間を集中改革期間と位置づけ、政策経費の歳出増加額を計1・6兆円程度に抑える「目安」を示した。毎年1兆円ほど増える社会保障費を、3年で1・5兆円の伸びにとどめる。

Akira Amari, economic revitalization minister, and others were reluctant to put a ceiling on government spending. But without the ceiling, there is a fear that tax revenue increases as a result of economic growth could be used for an expansion of expenditures in an unregulated manner. It is significant that the draft outline put a certain brake on increases in government spending in line with the opinions of Finance Minister Taro Aso and others.
甘利経済再生相らは、歳出の上限設定に難色を示したが、それでは経済成長による税収増などが、野放図に歳出拡大へ回される恐れがある。麻生財務相らの主張に沿って、歳出増に一定の歯止めを設けた意義はあろう。

It is worrisome that the draft outline is lacking in concrete measures to curtail government spending in the future as planned.
懸念されるのは、今後の歳出を想定通りに抑制するための具体的な方策が乏しいことである。

The target amount of an increase in general account spending, excluding redemptions of government bonds and certain other items, was determined based on past performance in fiscal 2013 to 2015. With the aging population, there is no guarantee that the government could curtail spending in the future as much as it did in that period. Ceaseless efforts for spending reform are indispensable.
政策経費の伸びの目標額は、13~15年度の実績をもとに定めた。高齢化は進行しており、今後も同様に抑え込める保証はない。不断の歳出改革が不可欠だ。

Face the pain

However, the draft outline seldom mentioned important issues, such as hikes in out-of-pocket payments for medical fees for high-income senior citizens, or heavier taxation on their pension money.
ところが、裕福な高齢者の医療費負担増や、年金課税の強化などの重要課題について、素案はほとんど言及しなかった。

The draft outline also did not clear a concrete target date to realize an increase in the use of generic medicine to more than 80 percent, which is a essential to controlling medical costs. In consideration of the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry, which is cautious about setting the target date, the draft outline said only in an ambiguous manner that the realization should be made “at the earliest date possible in [the period from] fiscal 2018 to the end of fiscal 2020.”
医療費削減の柱とされた後発医薬品の「普及率80%以上」の実現時期も、踏み込み不足だった。慎重な厚生労働省に配慮し、「18~20年度末のなるべく早い時期」という曖昧な表現に落ち着いた。

Since the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers in 2008, the government has introduced a system to add extra amounts of money to tax grants from the central government to local governments. The draft outline postponed the abolition of the system, instead only mentioning “trying to make efforts to change the system to the status quo ante.”
08年のリーマン・ショック後に緊急対策として導入した地方交付税の別枠加算は、「平時モードに切り替えを進めていく」とするにとどめ、廃止を見送った。

We have to say that the government got cold feet in fear of the refutation of the ministries and local governments opposing various expenditure cuts.
歳出カットに対する各府省や地方自治体の反発を恐れ、腰が引けていると言わざるを得ない。

Japan’s debt has topped ¥1 quadrillion, already the worst fiscal condition among advanced countries. Looking toward fiscal 2025 and later, when the baby boomers pass the age of 75, it is necessary to start painful reforms earlier.
日本の債務残高は、1000兆円を超え、既に先進国で最悪の財政状況だ。団塊の世代が75歳以上に達する25年度以降を見据えれば、痛みを伴う制度改革にも早めに手をつける必要がある。

From the start, the fiscal reconstruction measures this time are determined based on the assumption of real economic growth of 2 percent. If growth remains at 1 percent, the deficit in the primary balance would increase by ¥7 trillion. The harsh reality should not be forgotten.
そもそも今回の財政再建策は、実質2%という高成長が前提だ。成長率が1%にとどまれば、20年度の基礎的財政収支の赤字幅は、7兆円も増える。厳しい現実を忘れてはなるまい。

The government should beef up concrete measures for spending reform to steadily realize the goal of turning the primary balance of the central and local governments into a surplus by fiscal 2020 and laying the foundation for future fiscal consolidation.
20年度の黒字化目標を着実に実現し、その先の財政健全化に布石を打つ。こうした視点から、歳出改革の具体策を補強すべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 24, 2015)

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srachai について

early retired civil engineer migrated from Tokyo to Thailand
カテゴリー: 英字新聞 パーマリンク

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