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2013年4月 9日 (火)

消費税転嫁 中小企業の泣き寝入りを防げ

[The Yomiuri Shimbun] April 9, 2013
Don't let small firms get pushed around over consumption tax hike
消費税転嫁 中小企業の泣き寝入りを防げ(4月8日付・読売社説)

To ensure the consumption tax rate increase is smoothly implemented in April 2014 as scheduled, it is essential that small and midsize companies and other entities add the additional amount to their prices.
 2014年4月の消費税率引き上げを円滑に進めるには、中小企業などが増税分を価格に上乗せすることが重要だ。

The government has submitted a bill to the Diet for special legislation that would make it easier for businesses to absorb the higher consumption tax by raising prices.
 政府は、消費増税分を転嫁しやすくする特別措置法案を国会に提出した。

We urge ruling and opposition parties to cooperate to pass the bill swiftly to create an environment conducive to implementing the tax hike as planned.
与野党は法案を早期に成立させ、増税への環境整備を急ぐべきである。

When the tax rate is raised, the markup should be passed on through the purchase prices retailers pay, and then eventually paid by consumers.
 消費税率が上がると、本来は、その分を仕入れ価格に転嫁し、最終的には消費者が負担する。

There are concerns, however, that major retailers such as supermarket chains might exploit their dominant positions in price negotiations and refuse requests to pay the increase in prices at which they buy goods from small and midsize suppliers.
 しかし、スーパーなど大手業者が強い立場を利用し、中小納入業者の価格転嫁を認めないケースが懸念される。

Ban unfair practices

The bill aims to prohibit major companies from abusing their superior positions to refuse higher purchasing prices, and also such illicit practices as agreeing to pay these higher prices only if companies down the chain buy other goods from the larger firms in return.
 法案は、大企業が優越的地位を乱用し、価格転嫁を拒否したり、転嫁を認める代わりに、別の商品を購入させたりする行為を禁止した。

The legislation would empower the Fair Trade Commission to warn violators to urge them to pass the higher tax on prices. The FTC could make these companies' names public.
公正取引委員会が違反企業に対して、転嫁に応じることを勧告し、社名を公表する内容だ。

The bill would allow smaller companies to form a "price cartel" through which they can in concert pass the tax hike on through their prices to level the playing field in negotiations with large firms.
 中小企業が大企業と交渉できるよう、一致して転嫁を進める「価格カルテル」も容認した。

It is hoped the legislation will prevent companies in weak positions from being forced to silently bend to pressure applied by large firms. The bill rightly includes a range of measures to meet this objective.
 交渉力の弱い企業の泣き寝入りを防ぐ効果が期待される。様々な対策を打ち出したのは妥当だ。

According to a Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry survey, when the consumption tax rate was increased from 3 percent to 5 percent in 1997, two-thirds of businesses with annual sales of 15 million yen or less said they could not pass the tax hike on in their prices.
 日本商工会議所の調査では、1997年に消費税率が3%から5%に上がった際、年商1500万円以下の事業者の3分の2が転嫁できなかった、と答えた。

Intensifying price-cutting competition amid the prolonged period of economic deflation has generated huge pressure on small and midsize companies to keep prices down. If they cannot soak up the higher consumption tax through increased prices, their business conditions may deteriorate all the more.
 デフレの長期化で安売り競争が激化し、現在、中小企業への値下げ圧力は強い。転嫁できなければ経営は一段と悪化しかねない。

The tax increase in April next year will be followed by another in October 2015. The bill allows prices of goods and services to be displayed separately from the amount of tax levied on them. This would be handy for smaller companies because they could skip some cumbersome procedures involved in changing their pricing.
 14年4月に続き、15年10月にも税率が上がるため、法案は、本体価格と税額を別表示する方法も認める。煩雑な手続きを省略でき、中小企業などに便利だろう。

Stay out of ad campaigns

One possible shortcoming of the bill is that it would ban retailers from conducting "consumption tax discount sales" and similar advertising campaigns in which prices are lowered by a margin equivalent to the consumption tax.
 気になるのは、法案が「消費増税分を値引きする」などと銘打った「消費税還元セール」を禁止したことである。

The government claims the ban will prevent large companies from unfairly squeezing suppliers to cut prices. However, we think the government should not meddle excessively in businesses' advertising campaigns, which should be left to the ingenuity of private firms.
 政府は、納入業者への不当な値下げ圧力を防ぐためだとしているが、民間の創意工夫に委ねるべき販売促進策に行政が必要以上に口を出すことは避けるべきだ。

The government will start working out details of how prices should be labeled after the tax is bumped up. Care must be taken to avoid confusion among retailers.
 政府が今後策定する表示の指針で、小売り現場の混乱を招かないよう対応してもらいたい。

The government should be more concerned about vigilantly monitoring major companies that might refuse to pass the increased tax on through their prices, and to clamp down on illegal practices relating to it.
 むしろ重要なのは、大手企業の転嫁拒否の実態に目を光らせ、違法行為を取り締まる方策だ。

Ministries and agencies will reportedly set up consultation services with local governments and others at which businesses and consumers can ask about consumption tax issues. They also plan to write reports on compliance with the planned law.
 各省庁は自治体などと連携して相談窓口を設け、書面調査も行うという。

Small and midsize firms, however, are more worried about keeping good relations with business partners than reporting any dishonest practices by their customers. There are fears that losses incurred by smaller firms will stay hidden in the dark.
だが、中小企業は、実態の報告よりも取引上の関係を優先しがちだ。被害が水面下に隠れてしまう懸念もある。

The consumption tax hike will kick in less than a year from now, and price negotiations are getting into full swing. The government must not overlook any "bullying of subcontractors" by major companies.
 増税まで1年を切り、価格交渉が本格化する。政府は「下請けいじめ」を見逃してはならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 8, 2013)
(2013年4月8日01時14分  読売新聞)

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