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2008年11月 5日 (水)

社保会議報告

The Yomiuri Shimbun(Nov. 5, 2008)

Find political will for social security reform

社保会議報告 超党派で協議する場を作れ(115日付・読売社説)

The course of social security reform is gradually becoming clearer.

 社会保障改革の道筋が次第に見えつつある。

The government's National Council on Social Security has compiled a final report on how to better address problems regarding pension systems, medical and nursing care services and the declining birthrate, as well as how much these reforms would cost.

 年金、医療、介護そして少子化対策を充実するために何が必要か、全体でどれだけ費用がかかるのか。政府の社会保障国民会議が最終報告をまとめた。

The government previously had put forward estimates on future social security spending if the current systems were maintained. But in the latest report, the panel examined how social security systems should cope with an extremely low birthrate coupled with a rapidly aging population. The report presented a number of policy options and detailed calculations on additional spending that will be needed to implement these reforms.

 政府は従来、社会保障を現状のレベルで維持した場合の将来予測を示すことはあった。

 だが、今回の報告は、超少子高齢時代の社会保障制度のあるべき姿を検討し、いくつかの選択肢を示した上で、追加負担の必要額を具体的に試算している。

The report urges a shift from the course of automatically curbing social security spending. The report also breaks new ground in that it outlines future prospects for measures on pension systems, medical and nursing care services and the declining birthrate from a comprehensive perspective.

 社会保障費の機械的抑制路線の転換を促す内容だ。年金、医療、介護、少子化対策をトータルで見た将来見通しという点でも、これまでにない報告書である。

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Consumption tax debate

Although the report avoided being too specific on fiscal resources required to implement reform, it did spell out to what level the consumption tax rate should be raised if the tax revenue were to be used to secure these funds. The report thus has provided a basis for discussions on what level the consumption tax rate could be raised to, on the assumption there is no realistic alternative revenue source other than the consumption tax.

 財源については明確な表現を避けたものの、必要費用を消費税率に置き換えると何%になるかを示した。現実的に見て消費税以外に財源はないとの前提に立ち、どこまで税率引き上げを許容できるか議論を提起したと言えよう。

The consumption tax rate would significantly differ depending on which system--one to rectify the current social insurance system or another entirely financed by tax revenues--would be employed in pension reform.

 必要税率は、年金改革を社会保険修正方式とするか、全額税方式とするかで大きく変わる。

The former apparently is based on a reform plan that resembles a Yomiuri Shimbun proposal. In this scenario, the consumption tax rate would need to be raised by between three and four percentage points in fiscal 2015 and by six percentage points in fiscal 2025 to meet expenditures necessary for medical and nursing care services and overcoming the declining birthrate. In the latter scenario, the tax rate would need to be raised by six to 11 percentage points in fiscal 2015 and nine to 13 percentage points in fiscal 2025.

 社会保険修正方式は読売新聞の提言に近い改革を仮定している。その場合、医療・介護・少子化対策に要する費用を含めても2015年度に3%台、25年度に6%の税率引き上げで収まる。全額税方式では15年度に6~11%、25年度に9~13%を要する。

The report does not go as far as suggesting which scenario should be chosen. It thus does not give a clear-cut answer to this question. But the report appears to suggest that it will be up to politicians to make the final decision.

 最終報告は、どれを選択すべきだと踏み込んではいない。歯切れの悪さを否めないが、この先は政治が結論を出すべき領域だ、ということだろう。

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Road map needed

Prime Minister Taro Aso has announced an additional economic stimulus package and a plan to raise the consumption tax rate in three years. The government and ruling parties first need to offer a road map showing which option should be taken and how it should be implemented based on the scenarios given by the panel.

 麻生首相は、追加景気対策とともに3年後の消費税率引き上げを表明した。国民会議が示した選択肢をもとに、どれを採用し、どう実現するのか、まず政府・与党が工程表を示す必要がある。

The panel has made public all of the basic data it used in compiling the report. Representatives from all walks of life and political parties, above all, should make wise decisions using this data. The opposition camp, if it genuinely considers itself worthy of taking power, must hammer out realistic and fine-tuned policies on social security, rather than serving up vague policy pledges that seduce the ears of the public.

 国民会議は報告の基礎データをすべて公開している。これを用いて各層各界、何より各政党が知恵を出し合うべきだ。野党も本気で政権を目指すならば、耳に心地よい漠然とした公約ではなく、現実的で精緻(せいち)な社会保障政策を練ってもらいたい。

Whatever the case, social security reform will not progress unless politicians roll up their sleeves on this issue. The ruling and opposition camps should start suprapartisan discussions as soon as possible.

 いずれにせよ、社会保障改革は政治が超党派で取り組まなければ前へ進まない。与野党が同じテーブルについて議論する場を、早急に設けるべきだろう。

Reform of medical and nursing care services is particularly pressing because a spate of problems have recently come to light, such as the shortage of doctors. We again suggest that ad hoc committee to deal with these problems be set up and take immediate action.

 医師不足をはじめ、さまざまな問題が噴出している医療・介護制度の改革は、とりわけ緊急を要する。臨調を設置してただちに動き出すことを重ねて提言したい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 5, 2008)

20081150156  読売新聞)

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