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2011年3月 3日 (木)

予算案衆院通過 関連法案を政争の具にするな

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Mar. 3, 2011)
Budget-related bills not political tools
予算案衆院通過 関連法案を政争の具にするな(3月2日付・読売社説)

The government budget for the next fiscal year has passed the House of Representatives.
 来年度予算案が衆院を通過した。

The new budget is certain to receive final Diet approval within the current fiscal year on the strength of a constitutional provision concerning the lower house's precedence over the House of Councillors in budgetary decision-making. The Constitution stipulates that if the upper house rejects the fiscal budget or fails to vote on it within 30 days of receiving it from the lower house, the decision of the lower chamber will become the decision of the Diet.
 参院が否決したり、30日以上採決せず放置したりした場合でも、憲法の規定から衆院の議決が優先するため、年度内の成立が確定した。

However, it is unclear whether and when a set of budget-related bills--the legislation necessary for implementing specific policies and measures stipulated in the budget--will be enacted. We believe the ruling and opposition parties need to make mutual concessions in dealing with the fiscal 2011 budget. Compromise is essential to prevent people's daily lives from being adversely affected by a failure to pass these bills.
 しかし、予算執行に必要な関連法案は、成立のめどが立っていない。国民生活に多大な影響が及ぶ事態を避けるため、与野党は互いに歩み寄る必要があろう。

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Bond issuance halt a big risk

The most important of these legislative items is a special bill on the issuance of deficit-financing bonds.
 予算関連法案で最も重要なのが赤字国債の発行を可能にする特例公債法案だ。

Failure to adopt the debt-covering bond bill would lead to a revenue shortfall of somewhat more than 40 trillion yen under the next budget, which anticipates 92.4 trillion yen in annual revenue.
 これが成立しないと、予算案で見込む歳入92・4兆円のうち40兆円余の穴があく。

When it comes to executing the budget in the short term, the Democratic Party of Japan-led government may be able to make do with tax revenue to be raised in the coming months plus about 6 trillion yen revenue from construction bond issuance and other revenue-yielding measures. Such stopgap financing would suffice for some months--but not later than the summer.
当面の税収や6兆円の建設国債などでやり繰りするのも、夏までが限界だろう。

How market players would react to such a situation is a source of worry. An anomaly of that kind could be regarded as an indication that the government cannot secure necessary financial resources. This could immediately lead to a loss of confidence in government bonds.
 懸念されるのは市場の反応だ。政府が必要な財源を確保できなくなったとみなされ、国債の信認が一気に失われる恐れがある。

A rise in long-term interest rates--the leading indicator of which is the government bond yield rate--caused by a sell-off of government bonds in the market would increase debt-servicing costs to be covered by the government, exacerbating the already serious fiscal straits. It is also feared that housing loan interest rates could soar.
 国債が市場で売られ長期金利が上昇すれば、国債の利払い費が増え財政は一層苦しくなる。住宅ローン金利の上昇にもつながる。

Another bill to be affected by possible legislative paralysis is one aimed at revising the Customs Tariff Law to reduce tariffs on imported goods. Failure to adopt the bill would increase tariffs on 415 import items, including beef, beginning in April. This would be bound to adversely affect consumers and businesses in the form of price hikes.
 このほか、輸入品にかかる税金を割り引く関税定率法改正案が通らなければ、4月以降、牛肉など415品目の関税が上がり、消費者や企業にしわ寄せがいく。

The failure of tax reform-related bills to pass the Diet also would kill the much-publicized government goal of implementing a five percentage point reduction in corporate tax rates.
税制改正関連法案が不成立なら、法人税の5%減税もできなくなる。

 与野党双方とも、予算関連法案が成立しない場合の影響をもっと深刻に受け止めるべきだ。

Both the ruling and opposition camps should take to heart the possible harmful effects of failure to pass the budget-related legislation.
 政府・与党からは、関連法案への反対姿勢を変えない野党を批判する発言が目立っている。

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Don't play the blame game

A number of government and ruling party officials have criticized the opposition parties for their stubborn resistance to the budget-related bills. If their criticism of the opposition bloc's stance is intended as a preliminary move toward laying the blame on the opposition camp if the bills fail to clear the legislature, it would be a total disgrace.
不成立の際の責任を野党に押しつける布石を打っているとしたら、不見識だ。

An essential task facing the government and the ruling parties now is to create an environment conducive to bringing the ruling and opposition camps into line over the budget-related bills.
政府・与党が今なすべきは、与野党協調の環境作りである。

A proposal advanced by the leading opposition Liberal Democratic Party to revamp the new budget incorporates government bond issuance worth 42.5 trillion yen.
 自民党の予算組み替え案も42・5兆円の国債発行を盛り込んでいる。

We believe the LDP will find it difficult to oppose the government bond issuance bill if the government reconsiders its child-rearing allowances and other lavish handouts, a task that must be part of efforts to ensure any changes in government policies would fit the LDP's proposed budgetary framework.
その範囲に収まるよう、子ども手当などのバラマキ施策を見直せば、自民党も特例公債法案に反対しにくいはずだ。

If the government and ruling parties make appropriate concessions but the LDP demands the lower house be dissolved anyway, blame would then fall on the major opposition party. In that event, the LDP would deserve to be criticized for opposing the government just to create political turmoil that could eventually topple the DPJ from power.
 政府・与党が相応の譲歩を示してなお、自民党が衆院解散を迫るなら、今度は自民党が「政局ありきの反対」と批判される番だ。

A group of 16 DPJ lower house members seeking to break ranks with a parliamentary voting bloc formed by their own party and several independents refused to attend a lower house plenary session convened to vote on the budget Tuesday.
 予算案の採決では、民主党からの会派離脱を求めている衆院議員16人が本会議を欠席した。

Their concerted action was tantamount to throwing off their responsibility as members of the ruling party. The incident symbolizes the DPJ as a house in disarray.
 与党議員としての責任放棄であり、統制が取れない民主党を象徴する事態だ。

The DPJ's top echelon has decided to discipline the 16 dissenters. One of them likely will have his party membership suspended, while the others will likely be reprimanded. However, such lenient punishments could invite yet another revolt by DPJ members.
執行部は1人を党員資格停止、残り15人を厳重注意としたが、こんな甘い処分では、さらなる造反を招きかねない。

Prime Minister Naoto Kan must accept the massive weight of his obligation and decide to fundamentally revise his party's 2009 lower house election manifesto as soon as possible.
 菅首相は腹をくくって、衆院選政権公約の大胆な修正に一刻も早く踏み切るしかない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, March 2, 2011)
(2011年3月2日01時41分  読売新聞)

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