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2008年12月27日 (土)

社説:09年度予算案 これでは生活防衛できない

(Mainichi Japan) December 26, 2008

Budget draft lacks concrete measures to protect people's livelihoods

社説:09年度予算案 これでは生活防衛できない


The government approved a state budget draft for fiscal 2009 on Wednesday. At a news conference following the decision, Prime Minister Taro Aso praised the budget as a bold measure to protect people's livelihoods. The prime minister apparently wanted to emphasize that social security outlays, which include 77.5 billion yen from the 333 billion yen in funds for priority policy measures that he allocated at his own discretion, will increase by 14 percent and that he also places priority on regional vitalization measures and support for smaller businesses.

 09年度予算の政府案が24日決定された。これを受けた記者会見で、麻生太郎首相は「生活防衛の大胆実行予算」と自賛した。財務省原案内示後、首相が自ら配分を決めた重要課題推進枠(3330億円)からの775億円を含めて、社会保障関係費が14%増、地域活性化対策や中小企業対策にも配慮したと言いたいのだろう。

However, one cannot help but wonder whether the budget will provide relief for people plagued by a chain of concerns.

 では、これで国民は不安の連鎖から抜け出すことができるのか。

The government's compilation of the fiscal 2009 budget draft was affected by international economic conditions and political maneuvering. Amid the rapid economic slowdown, numerous emergency issues have emerged.

 09年度予算編成は、国際経済情勢や政治の動きに翻弄(ほんろう)された。経済状況が急速に悪化する中で、緊急課題が数多く出てきた。

The government has decided to carry out 75 trillion yen worth of projects in three economic stimulus packages and also has plans for 12 trillion yen in fiscal measures.

政府の3次にわたる景気対策の事業規模は75兆円、財政措置も12兆円に達する。

The stimulus packages appear to be on par with those in other major countries in terms of their scale and ratio to gross domestic product, but the public does not appear to expect them to produce far-reaching results.

規模や国内総生産比率では国際的にも見劣りしないが、国民の期待は高くない。

Moreover, the government is basically going to rely on loans to finance these measures in the face of a large tax revenue shortfall.

 しかも、税収が大幅に減少しているためその財源は基本的に借金頼みだ。

The budget draft calls for the issuance of deficit-covering bonds totaling 25.71 trillion yen, up 5.6 trillion yen from the initial budget of the current fiscal year. Moreover, 4.23 trillion yen will be diverted to part of these projects from reserves in the special account of the government's fiscal investment and loan program, which will require funding from deficit-covering bonds in the future.

 09年度の赤字国債発行は前年度当初比5兆6000億円増の25兆7100億円だ。将来の赤字国債発行につながる財政投融資特別会計の準備金からの流用も4兆2300億円に達する。

If the budget can reassure people and improve economic conditions, it will lead to an increase in tax revenue and help the country erase its chronic deficit. How 1 trillion yen set aside in the fiscal 2009 budget draft for emergency economic measures will be used remains to be seen. However, the allocations of funds for medical, nursing care and employment security projects are insufficient. The budget does not show how Japan can transform its economic structure to stimulate its economy and expand job opportunities.

 赤字財政もそれにより国民の安心が増し、経済の体質も強化されれば、税収増加をもたらし、赤字体質からの脱却も展望できる。09年度予算では、経済緊急対応予備費1兆円の使途は今後のことにしても、医療、介護、雇用のいずれをとっても、当初の予算配分は十分とはいえない。経済活性化や雇用拡大に不可欠な経済構造転換などが展望できる予算にもなっていない。

If the government really thinks Japan is facing an economic crisis that occurs once every 100 years, it should have drastically reviewed the budget appropriations. Financial resources exclusively set aside for road construction will be incorporated in the general budget as the government has pledged. Nevertheless, road construction and maintenance spending will be cut by only 8.8 percent.

 100年に一度の経済危機というのならば、予算配分は全面的に見直せばいいが、それができないのだ。

 道路特定財源の一般財源化は実施されるが、道路整備費は地域活力基盤創造交付金分などを含めて8.8%減に過ぎない。これでは看板倒れだ。

The government will increase its contribution to the basic pension fund, but it has not secured stable sources of funding to carry this out.

基礎年金の国庫負担割合引き上げも安定財源手当ての明確な保証があるわけではない。

The government has also not sufficiently reduced its waste of taxpayers' money or restructured its outlays. Instead of efficiently allocating funds to various projects, it has pondered over how to provide enough funds for a wide variety of projects by expanding the scale of the budget.

 一方で、無駄の徹底した排除や歳出改革は道半ばのままだ。歳出にメリハリを付けるよりも、財政規模の拡大で要求に幅広く予算を付けていくことに腐心したと言わざるを得ない手法も使われた。

The goal of the fiscal 2009 budget draft is to protect people's livelihoods and Japan's economy. However, it does not appear that the government will achieve this goal.

 「国民生活と日本経済を守る」ことが09年度予算の課題であるという。正論であるが、なぜ、それができそうにないのか。

Ruling coalition politicians are trying to avoid mentioning a consumption tax hike and other sensitive issues that would require taxpayers to shoulder a heavier financial burden as part of a mid-term program to achieve a sustainable social security system. The tendency of politicians to avoid difficult topics and attempt to cover up the need for a tax hike has become evident.

 持続可能な社会保障のための「中期プログラム」の与党内協議でも、消費税引き上げなど国民に負担増を求めることはできる限り避ける、逃げの姿勢や増税隠しの体質が鮮明になった。これでは、財政がその役割を果たすことはできない。

To ensure sustainable economic growth, it is urgent that Japan's fiscal capability, which has been considerably weakened, be rebuilt. Both the ruling coalition and opposition parties must recognize the importance of this task and offer specific measures to achieve it.

 日本経済が持続的な発展をしていくためには、衰弱した財政力の立て直しは急務だ。与野党ともこのことを認識し、具体策を国民に提示することこそが求められているのだ。

毎日新聞 20081225日 017

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