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2013年3月 7日 (木)

共通番号法案 今国会こそ確実に成立させよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Mar. 7, 2013)
Adopt numbering system to manage welfare, tax systems
共通番号法案 今国会こそ確実に成立させよ(3月6日付・読売社説)

The government has resubmitted to the Diet a bill calling for the adoption of identification numbers for individuals to be used for the administration of social security programs and tax payments.

The ruling and some opposition parties recognize the need to introduce the numbering system. Deliberations on the bill should begin as soon as possible so it can be approved by the current Diet session.

Under the system, cards carrying numbers, individuals' photos and IC chips would be issued to all citizens to allow administrative offices to better manage the social security system and tax payments. The government aims to introduce the system in 2016.

The administration of former Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda submitted a similar bill to the Diet last year together with bills on integrated reform of social security and tax systems. However, the bill was killed when the House of Representatives was dissolved for a general election in December.

The bill has been revised by the Liberal Democratic Party, New Komeito and the Democratic Party of Japan before it was submitted by the government to the current Diet session.

Introduction of the numbering system would be tremendously beneficial for the public because it would drastically simplify the complex application procedures for receiving social security benefits.


Time, money can be saved

Application for pension payments, for example, currently requires submission of such documents as certificates of residence and income. Time and money could be saved under the new system.

People would be able to check their personal information regarding social security benefits and tax payments at home by visiting a specific website. It also would be possible to check online whether there is any omission in their pension records.

Administrative costs would be reduced in applying for and receiving approval for social security benefits and other services.

The envisaged numbering system could lay the foundation for the central and municipal governments to more easily obtain information on individuals' incomes and tax payments, making tax collection fairer. This could prevent income underreporting and illegal tax refunds.

The government should take extra precautions in providing social security benefits for low-income earners and other underprivileged people when they utilize the planned numbering system.

The system will be indispensable when a tax deduction system together with cash handouts is introduced to ease regressive tax burdens, an issue to be tackled when the consumption tax is increased.


Independent body eyed

Diet deliberations will focus on how personal information can be protected. It is crucial to establish a credible system.

It is reasonable for the bill to contain a provision calling for the establishment of a strictly independent commission to watch out for information leaks.

The commission would be given strong investigative powers and be empowered to issue recommendations and orders when irregularities are found. Violators would face criminal punishment. The numbering system must be strictly controlled to prevent it from being abused.

Expansion of the application range of numbering system is a task to be dealt with in the future. As the bill does not include a provision to apply a numbering system to medical care information, this matter should be taken up at some stage.

The numbering system would prove beneficial if it eliminated waste in the medical care field by deterring patients from duplicating examinations and obtaining medication at two or more medical institutions.

The ruling and opposition parties must hold thorough deliberations on the bill to win public support for the system.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, March 6, 2013)
(2013年3月6日02時05分  読売新聞)


« 中国国防費膨張 「海洋強国化」は危険な軍拡だ | トップページ | for my daughter, kaichan »





« 中国国防費膨張 「海洋強国化」は危険な軍拡だ | トップページ | for my daughter, kaichan »