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2008年5月 1日 (木)

スラチャイと英語を勉強しましょう!

PM must fulfill promise on road tax revenues

暫定税率再可決 一般財源化の約束を果たせ5月1日付・読売社説)

The Yomiuri Shimbun

読売新聞

Gasoline prices were lowered a month ago, but have now been restored to their previous levels. What exactly was all the fuss about?

ガソリン価格が下がったと思ったら、1か月で元に戻る。この騒ぎは一体何だったのか。

By way of responding to this question, as well as to concerns raised by the public, Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda is now obliged to fulfill his pledge to incorporate road-related tax revenues--currently used exclusively for road-related projects--into the general purpose revenue account.

福田首相は、そうした疑問や反発の声に応えるためにも、道路特定財源の一般財源化の約束を、必ず、果たさなければならない。

A set of tax code bills, including one to reinstate provisionally high rates of gasoline and other road-related taxes, were enacted Wednesday after a plenary session of the House of Representatives--controlled by the ruling parties--passed them with a second vote by a majority of two-thirds or more of those members present.

ガソリン税などの暫定税率を復活させる税制関連法が、衆院本会議で与党の3分の2以上の賛成多数で再可決、成立した。

With the bills' passage, gasoline will cost more at the pumps.

これにより、今のガソリン価格は上がる。

But had prices remained at the low levels seen last month, a budgetary shortfall of about 2.6 trillion yen would have resulted. Eventually, taxpayers would have had to stick their hands in their pockets to come up with this cash.

しかし、下げたままでは、2兆6000億円という大幅な歳入欠陥が生じる。そのツケはいずれ、納税者に回る。

The government and the ruling parties saw it as their responsibility to enact the bills via a second vote in line with constitutional provisions.

憲法の規定に基づいて、再可決で関連法を成立させたのは、政府・与党としての責務である。

===

Contradictions raised

(苦悩する首相)

At a press conference, Fukuda said a consultation panel comprising members from ruling parties should be set up to compile a bill, within the year, aimed at funneling all road-related tax revenues into the general account budget.

福田首相は記者会見で、一般財源化を確かなものにするため、与党協議会を発足させ、年内に法案にまとめると強調した。

However, Fukuda's wish to realize this plan from fiscal 2009 contradicts a revision bill that stipulates special measures for revenue sources vis-a-vis road-related projects. This bill allows gasoline tax revenues to be used for road-related projects for the next 10 years.

今後10年間、ガソリン税収を道路特定財源に充てるとした道路整備費財源特例法改正案と、2009年度からの全額一般財源化という首相の方針とはズレがある。

The prime minister needs to thoroughly explain how road-related taxes would be used as general revenue, as well as seek public understanding over the issue to facilitate the expeditious passage of the bill.

首相は、特例法改正案の早期成立を図るうえでも、一般財源化への道筋を丁寧に説明し、国民の理解を求める必要がある。

The tax bills were enacted after they were deemed as having been rejected by the House of Councillors. A constitutional provision stipulates that if the upper house fails to take final action within 60 days of receiving a bill passed by the lower house, the lower house can constitute this as a rejection of the bill by the upper house.

税制関連法は、衆院で可決後、参院に送られてから、60日たっても議決されず、憲法の規定で、否決したものとみなされた。

The upper house's failure to even vote on the bill during the stipulated period in effect denied its own powers as a legislative organ.

この間、賛否すら決することの出来ない参院は、自らの存在を否定したようなものではないか。

It is our belief that the Democratic Party of Japan, the leading party in the upper house, bears a particularly heavy responsibility.

とりわけ、参院第1党の民主党の責任は重い。

If the DPJ was serious about abolishing the provisional tax rates, it should have presented more convincing alternative sources of revenue.

暫定税率廃止を言うのなら、もっと説得力のある代替財源を示すべきだった。

If the party merely boasts it has succeeded in lowering gasoline prices, it may lead down the dark alley of political populism, in which political leaders meekly kowtow to the general public.

ガソリン値下げを勝ち取ったと言っているだけでは、ポピュリズム(大衆迎合主義)の政治に堕しかねない。

===

Censure motion on hold

(切り札の問責決議案)

The DPJ and other opposition parties have decided--for the time being--not to submit to the upper house a censure motion against Fukuda.

民主党はじめ野党は、福田首相に対する問責決議案の参院への提出を当面、見送った。

If such a motion was presented and passed, it would mean the opposition camp could not hold question-and-answer sessions with the prime minister.

仮に、決議案を提出し、可決すれば、首相を相手に質疑をするわけにいかなくなる。

In such a case, the only option left to the opposition camp would be to reject Diet deliberations.

となると、長期にわたって審議拒否しなければならない。

As censure motions are not legally binding, there would be virtually no consequences if the prime minister chose to ignore such a protest.

ところが、問責決議は、何ら法的な根拠がない。首相が無視すれば万事休すだ。

The opposition parties likely deemed they would be unable to force the Fukuda Cabinet to resign en masse--thus triggering the dissolution of the lower house and a subsequent snap election--even if they persevered with a strategy of rejecting Diet deliberations.

結局、審議拒否を貫いて、内閣総辞職や衆院解散・総選挙に追い込むことに、成算がないのだろう。

Rather than stubbornly continuing to play hardball, we believe the DPJ should hold talks with the ruling parties to ensure that moves toward funneling road-related tax revenues into the general revenue account would not be stymied.

強硬姿勢を取り続けるより、与党側と話し合い、一般財源化への動きが後退しないよう、かんぬきをかける。

By doing so, the DPJ would better demonstrate its ability to take the reins of the government.

その方が、民主党の政権担当能力を示しうる。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 1, 2008)

2008510127  読売新聞)

(May. 1, 2008)

(2008年5月1日)

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