1億総活躍 具体化への道筋示せ

–The Asahi Shimbun, May 19
EDITORIAL: Abe’s plan to stoke economic growth still lacks vital specifics
(社説)1億総活躍 具体化への道筋示せ

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government has cobbled together a package for its key policy of creating a “society where 100 million people play active roles.”
安倍政権が看板政策に掲げる「1億総活躍プラン」をまとめた。

The package, announced on May 18, is designed to revive Japan’s economic growth by pumping up consumer spending. The government has pledged to achieve the policy goal by taking steps to heighten the livelihood security of people, mainly in the social security area, so that they will feel safe about spending. This is a recipe for “a virtuous cycle of growth and distribution,” the Abe administration says.
社会保障分野を中心に暮らしの基盤を厚くし、国民の安心感につなげる。それが消費を底上げし、経済成長をもたらす。そんな「成長と分配の好循環」をうたう。

While the package contains a broad array of measures, its focus is on labor and child and nursing care.
内容は多岐にわたるが、柱は労働分野と育児・介護分野だ。

The goals set for this policy agenda include: realizing the “same pay for same work” principle and a minimum wage of 1,000 yen ($9.20) per hour to improve the fortunes of nonregular workers; cutting long working hours; and raising the wages of child-care and nursing-care workers to ease labor shortages in these sectors.
同一労働同一賃金や、最低賃金として時給1千円をめざし、非正社員の待遇を改善する。長時間労働を是正する。人手不足が深刻な保育や介護の現場で働く人の賃金を引き上げる。そんな目標が並ぶ。

These are all important policy issues the government has been tackling for many years without much success. Clearly, the government should accelerate its efforts to achieve these goals.
But none of them is easy to accomplish, and there is no clear and specific road map to the goals.
どれも長年の懸案であり、対応を急ぐべきだ。しかし、いずれも実現は容易でなく、具体化への道筋はなお見えない。

With an Upper House election drawing near, the policy package will certainly be criticized as a mere attempt to garner votes if the Abe administration fails to make serious efforts to achieve the ambitious goals it has announced.
参院選が近い。風呂敷を広げたはよいが、尻すぼみになっていくようなら、選挙目当てとの批判は免れまい。

The initiative will serve as an acid test of Abe’s commitment to the policy goals and ability to deliver on his promises.
問われるのは首相の本気度と実行力だ。

The administration has pledged to revise the related laws to ensure “same pay for same work.” But it needs to first offer a clear definition for what constitutes unreasonable disparities in pay.
同一労働同一賃金では関連法の改正に踏み込むとしたが、まずは何が不合理な待遇差かを明確にできるか。

The “same pay” principle should not mean that the generally low wages of nonregular workers will become the standard. This creed should lead to a general rise in wage levels.
「同一」の中身も、総じて賃金水準が低い非正社員の方に合わせるのではなく、全体の底上げにつなげねばならない。

Long working hours have been cited as a stumbling block in Japanese people’s efforts to continue working while rearing children or caring for aged parents.
The administration says it will assign a labor ministry council to the task of deciding whether the related regulations should be changed.
子育てや介護と仕事の両立を阻む要因ともされる長時間労働は、関連する規定を見直すかどうかの検討を厚生労働省の審議会に委ねるという。

But the administration, for its part, should first lay down basic principles for the reform, such as the introduction of ceilings on working hours.
まずは政府として、労働時間の上限規制に踏み込むなど改革の方向性を示すべきではないか。

Increasing the number of day-care centers and nursing-care homes would be meaningless unless they can attract workers.
保育所や介護施設を増やしても、働く人がいなければ役に立たない。

The government has taken a step in the right direction by deciding on wage hikes for child-care and nursing-care workers in the next fiscal year.
But it has postponed the vital decision on how to finance the step, estimated to cost 200 billion yen, until the year-end season for formulating the budget for fiscal 2017.
保育士や介護職員の賃金を来年度から引き上げるとしたのは前進だが、2千億円ともされる財源の検討は年末の予算編成時に先送りした。

As for the education area, the administration has stopped short of proposing a scholarship program that doesn’t require repayment, an idea that has been attracting much public attention. Again due to financing problems, the administration has only promised to consider the idea.
教育分野では、関心が高い「給付型奨学金」の創設が、やはり財源問題から検討項目にとどまった。

Some policymakers are calling for using the increase in tax revenue from the effects of Abe’s expansionary economic policy, known as Abenomics. But this is far from stable financial resources for vital policy measures.
「アベノミクス」による税収増を活用するとの声もあるが、安定的な財源と言えるだろうか。

It would also be wrongheaded to cut spending on other important policy programs to secure funds for these measures.
他の分野の予算を無理に削って財源をひねり出すのも本末転倒である。

The government has long promised to expand child-care support as part of its “integrated tax and social security reform.”
そもそも子育て支援は、「税と社会保障の一体改革」で充実を約束している。

But the initiative will face a fund shortfall of 300 billion yen even if the consumption tax rate is raised to 10 percent as planned. The government has yet to devise a plausible plan to fund measures to carry out its promises, such as increasing child-care workers.
しかし消費税率を10%にしても財源がなお3千億円足りない状態だ。いまだにめどが立たず、保育士の配置を厚くするなどの施策が置き去りにされている。

The government should raise the consumption tax rate to 10 percent as scheduled as the first step in tackling this challenge. It should also confront the reality that the tax hike will not be enough to secure necessary funds to expand child-care support.
If it is really committed to dealing with this policy challenge in a responsible manner, the government should steadily implement the proposed measures while showing taxpayers a convincing financing plan.
まずは消費税率を予定通り10%に上げる。それでも財源が不足する現状を直視し、国民が納得できる確保策を示した上で、一つずつ着実に実行していく。それが責任ある態度である。

広告

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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