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2012年9月20日 (木)

予算の執行抑制 国民生活への影響を回避せよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Sep. 20, 2012)
Legislative row over budget threatens people's well-being
予算の執行抑制 国民生活への影響を回避せよ(9月19日付・読売社説)

Doesn't it seem that the ruling and opposition parties are making light of financing for the national budget? They must work to resolve the current extraordinary situation concerning state finances as soon as possible.
 国家財政の資金繰りをあまりに安易に考えていないか。与野党は、一日も早く異常事態を解消しなければならない。

The government has started limiting the use of funds for the fiscal 2012 budget. This is because the government will not be able to secure fiscal resources of 38 trillion yen--equivalent to 40 percent of projected state revenue--due to the scrapping of the special bill on issuance of deficit-covering government bonds in the ordinary Diet session that ended earlier this month.
 政府が2012年度予算の執行抑制を始めた。赤字国債の発行に必要な特例公債法案が通常国会で廃案となり、歳入の4割に当たる38兆円の財源が確保できなかったためだ。

This is the first time in the postwar era that the spending of funds for the national budget has been held back on a full-scale basis.
本格的な執行抑制は戦後初である。

The bill has been used as a bargaining chip by the ruling and opposition parties over a dissolution of the House of Representatives for a snap general election. There is no clear prospect of the bill clearing the Diet.
 特例公債法案は衆院解散を巡る与野党の駆け引き材料となり、成立のメドは立っていない。

Postponing the spending of some funds is unavoidable as an emergency measure.
 予算の執行先送りは、緊急措置としてやむを得まい。

The government plans to hold back the spending of 5 trillion yen over three months from September. The 5 trillion yen includes tax grants allocated to prefectural governments and subsidies for independent administrative entities.
 執行抑制策は、9月から3か月間、計5兆円の支出を見合わせる内容だ。道府県への地方交付税や独立行政法人向け補助金の支払いなどを延期する。

The postponement of local allocation tax grants strengthened upward pressure on short-term interest rates, thereby influencing the financial market. This is because local financial institutions moved to secure funds from the market as they could not obtain the deposits they hoped to gain from the local governments to which tax grants are allocated.
 地方交付税の支給延期で短期金利の上昇圧力が強まるなど、執行抑制は一時、金融市場にも影響を与えた。地方交付税を受ける自治体から見込んでいた預金が入らず、地域の金融機関が市場での資金確保に動いたからだ。

===

Delay not a solution

The measure adopted this time to restrain budget implementation will only postpone the depletion of state coffers by about one month.
 今回の執行抑制策は、国庫が底を突く時期を1か月ほど先延ばしするだけである。

If the bill does not clear the Diet until November, the government may find it difficult to secure necessary funds in December, a month when government spending is usually high. If spending for medical insurance expenses and welfare benefits is delayed by further restraint on the use of funds, it will have a wider impact on people's lives.
 法案が11月になっても成立しなければ、予算支出が集中する12月は乗り切れない恐れもある。さらなる執行抑制で、医療費や生活保護費などの支出が遅れると、国民生活への影響が広がろう。

A system is in place for the Finance Ministry to issue bonds to make up for a short-term fund shortage. But the issuance of these bonds on the pretext of a shortage of fiscal resources is unprecedented and would violate the public finance law.
 短期的な資金不足を補う財務省証券を発行する仕組みはあるが、財源不足を理由とする発行は財政法違反とされ、前例がない。

If the ruling and opposition parties put off the Diet passage of the bill on the presumption that they can address the issue by issuing Finance Ministry bonds, they are abdicating their responsibilities.
 財務省証券を発行すれば良いとして、与野党が法案成立を先送りするなら、責任放棄に等しい。

If they continue to receive grants from the government to political parties while turning a blind eye to their own dereliction of duty, it will be impossible to win over the people.
 自らの怠慢を棚に上げ、政党交付金は従来通り受け取り続ける、では国民は納得しないだろう。

===

Political football

Some members of the Democratic Party of Japan have sought to delay the dissolution of the lower house as long as possible, citing the delay in passage of the bill as an excuse. But the DPJ must not be allowed to ignore an agreement between Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and Liberal Democratic Party President Sadakazu Tanigaki that the lower house is to be dissolved "sometime soon."
 民主党内には、特例公債法案などが成立しないことを口実に、衆院解散先送りを画策する動きもある。次期衆院選で苦戦が予想されるからといって、「近いうち」の解散という、自民党との合意をないがしろにはできまい。

The bill on issuance of deficit-financing government bonds was also used last year as a bargaining chip over the resignation of then Prime Minister Naoto Kan.
 特例公債法案は昨年も菅首相退陣の駆け引き材料に使われた。

Noda said: "If the cabinet resigns or the lower house is dissolved every time the bill is taken hostage annually, no prime minister will be able to stay in office for more than one year." Concerning measures to handle the bill in a divided Diet, where the House of Councillors is controlled by the opposition camp, he expressed his intention to coordinate views with the opposition parties.
 野田首相は、「法案を毎年人質に取られ、そのたびに内閣総辞職か解散を繰り返していたら、首相の寿命は全部1年だ」と述べた。衆参ねじれ国会で法案を扱う方策について、野党と「腹合わせ」したいとの意向を示した。

His statement is understandable. It is essential to look into the possibility of establishing a system or a precedent to prevent the bill from being used as a political football any longer.
 首相の発言は理解できる。特例公債法案がこれ以上、「政争の具」とされないような制度や慣例を検討することが必要だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Sept. 19, 2012)
(2012年9月19日01時50分  読売新聞)

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