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2012年8月20日 (月)

概算要求基準 成長を促す事業に絞り込め

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 20, 2012)
Put govt funds in projects that actually boost growth
概算要求基準 成長を促す事業に絞り込め(8月19日付・読売社説)

Japan has taken a big step toward restoring its fiscal health by enacting bills for integrated reform of the social security and tax systems, including key legislation to increase the consumption tax rate.
 消費税率引き上げを柱とする社会保障・税一体改革関連法の成立で、日本は財政健全化に大きな一歩を踏み出した。

Next fiscal year's budget will be a touchstone for whether the nation can set a course to break away from its dependence on borrowing in public finances.
 借金財政から脱却する道筋を示せるかどうか、2013年度予算はその試金石となる。

The government has recently established guidelines for budget appropriation requests for fiscal 2013.
 政府は、13年度予算の概算要求基準を決めた。

The ceiling on policy-related spending, which does not include expenditures for servicing government bonds, was set at 71 trillion yen. Regarding revenues, the government has set a 44 trillion yen limit on issuing new government bonds.
Both figures are about the same as the amounts earmarked for the initial fiscal 2012 budget.
 12年度当初予算並みに、歳出では国債費を除く政策的な経費を71兆円以下、歳入では新規国債発行額を44兆円以下に抑えた。

For the next fiscal year, the government has established a special quota for the three fields of the environment, health care, and agriculture, forestry and fishing, which were given priority in the government's recently adopted plan to rejuvenate the nation, dubbed the "Japan revitalization strategy."
Under the quota, government offices are allowed to request two to four times the amount they trim from existing projects.
 そのうえで、日本再生戦略で示したエネルギー・環境、健康、農林漁業の3分野に「特別重点要求」を認め、各府省が従来の事業を見直して削った額の2~4倍を要求できるようにした。

The government also set a quota in other fields noted in the revitalization strategy, allowing ministries and agencies to request up to 150 percent of the amount they cut from existing projects in these areas.
 それ以外の再生戦略関連は「重点要求」として削減額の1・5倍まで要求を認める仕組みだ。

The aim of reviewing longstanding expenditures and varying the amount of money distributed to each project based on how much it contributes to Japan's growth is not bad.
 硬直化した歳出を点検し、成長に配慮して予算にメリハリを付ける狙い自体は悪くない。

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Projects often rehashed

However, in the past, ministries and agencies have applied for similar quotas with projects they claimed were new, but in fact were just a rehash of conventional projects. This method is prevalent among government offices.
 ただ、過去の重点要求では、従来と内容が変わらないものを焼き直すような手法が横行した。

The government expects up to 4 trillion yen to be requested by the ministries and agencies for the quotas, but it should strictly narrow down the projects at the request stage, through efforts such as instructing government offices to avoid the overlap of projects.
 政府は最大4兆円の要求を想定しているが、府省間で重複した事業を事前調整するなど、要求段階で厳しく絞り込むべきだ。

We cannot dispel our doubts about whether the money allotted to the quotas will contribute to Japan's growth as expected. This is the biggest issue concerning the government's policy on the fiscal 2013 budget.
 最大の問題は、重点配分する予算がどれだけ成長に資するのか、疑問が払拭できないことだ。

The nation must streamline agriculture-related expenditures. However, the government plans to continue including in the budget the income compensation program for individual farm households, which has been criticized as lavish spending.
 農業予算の効率化が急務であるにもかかわらず、13年度も、ばらまき色の強い戸別所得補償制度に必要な予算を認める方向だ。

We believe this is inconsistent with the growth strategy.
成長戦略に逆行していないか。

The government should instead allocate its budget predominantly to projects that fundamentally strengthen agriculture, based on the hypothesis that Japan will join the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade accord in the future.
 環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)への参加を前提に、農業の体質強化につながる事業に重点配分しなければならない。

Regarding projects to promote renewable energy, the government should refrain from allocating its budget extravagantly to projects unlikely to yield significant benefits.
 再生可能エネルギー関連についても、効果の乏しい事業には予算を大盤振る舞いすべきでない。

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Curb social security costs

It was totally reasonable for the government to ask the ministries and agencies in the guidelines to trim their regular budgets, such as cutting 10 percent of their public work expenditures.
 概算要求基準が、公共事業費の1割カットなど、通常予算の削減を求めたのは妥当だろう。

The focal point is how to curb the surging costs of social security.
 焦点は、社会保障費の伸びをどう抑えるかである。

Due to the graying of Japan's population, the budget for social security will increase by 800 billion yen in fiscal 2013 from the previous year to just maintain the current system. The government should not treat social security costs as untouchable but take decisive efforts to trim them, such as curbing public assistance benefits, which have ballooned in recent years.
 高齢化の進行に伴い、13年度予算では、現行制度を維持するだけで前年より8000億円増える。社会保障費を聖域扱いせず、受給者が急増している生活保護費の抑制など切り込みが求められる。

After taking power in 2009, the administrations led by the Democratic Party of Japan have touted a slogan of taking control from the hands of bureaucrats in budget compilations.
However, as the DPJ has stuck to implementing projects it pledged to the public in the 2009 House of Representatives election when compiling the past three budgets, the DPJ has failed to cut the nation's expenditures and debts have swelled. The scale of the budget has been increasing year by year.
 政治主導を掲げて民主党政権が臨んだ過去3回の予算編成は、政権公約に固執して歳出カットは進まぬ一方、借金は増えた。予算規模は年々膨らむばかりだ。

There are strong pressures to increase expenditures for fiscal 2013, as Diet members begin worrying about the next general election. This is the time to change the budget's structure from expansion to restraint.
 13年度予算も、衆院選を意識した歳出増圧力が強い。今度こそ、膨張型から抑制型へ、予算構造の修正を図るべきである。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 19, 2012)
(2012年8月19日01時05分  読売新聞)

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