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2013年12月 5日 (木)

消費税転嫁 混乱を防ぐ手立てが必要だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun December 4, 2013
Steps needed to avert confusion over prices when consumption tax hiked
消費税転嫁 混乱を防ぐ手立てが必要だ(12月3日付・読売社説)

Businesses are required to smoothly pass along increases in the costs of products and services resulting from the three-percentage-point consumption tax hike, which goes into effect next April.
 2014年4月の消費税率引き上げ時には、企業が3%の増税分を円滑に価格転嫁することが求められる。

When the rate is raised from the current 5 percent to 8 percent, the price increase will be passed on through retail prices and assumed by consumers.
 消費税率が5%から8%になると、その分は最終的に販売価格に転嫁され、消費者が負担する。

Developments that must be avoided are confusing consumers over whether the retail price includes the effects of tax hike, and large companies’ rejection of requests from small and midsize suppliers of goods and services to pass the effects of tax increase on to the prices of their products.
消費者が価格設定に戸惑ったり、中小・零細の納入業者が大企業に転嫁を拒まれたりする混乱を防がねばならない。

East Japan Railway Co. and Tokyo Metro Co. plan to include the higher tax in units of ¥1 if passengers use prepaid IC cards at automated ticket gates. The Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry is prepared to accept the plan.
 JR東日本と東京メトロは、運賃をICカード乗車券に限って1円単位で転嫁する方針で、国土交通省も容認する考えだ。

With ticket machines, however, the fare system remains unchanged, and tax will be added to tickets in units of ¥10. As a result, there will be a “two-tier fare” system in which fares differ depending on whether IC cards or cash is used.
 券売機では、従来通り10円単位の運賃体系とするため、同じ区間なのに、IC乗車券と切符で価格が異なる「二重運賃」が発生する場合がある。

Central Japan Railway Co. and West Japan Railway Co. are unlikely to pass the tax increase on to passengers using IC cards in units of ¥1.
 JR東海とJR西日本などは、IC乗車券での1円単位の転嫁を見送る方向だ。

The government and the mass transit system operators must fully explain to passengers the different methods being used by operators in passing on the tax hike.
政府と業界は、会社によって転嫁方法が違う点を利用者へ十分説明してほしい。

When buying railway tickets, there is a possibility passengers may pay more than the total amount of the tax hike. Transit system operators must not be allowed to gain such a windfall by collecting money in excess of the consumption tax increase.
 現金で切符を買う場合、乗客が増税分以上の金額を支払う可能性もある。全体で増税幅を超える増収は避けるべきであろう。

Cartels approved

The government has put into force special measures to ensure the consumption tax hike is passed on through prices. These include allowing suppliers to form a cartel for the purpose of passing the price increase on through their prices, an exception to the Antimonopoly Law.
 政府は、消費税転嫁対策特別措置法を施行した。納入業者がそろって増税分を価格に上乗せする「転嫁カルテル」を、独占禁止法の例外として認める内容だ。

Soon after the special measures were put into force, the soft drink and other industries applied to establish a cartel. With vending machines, it is difficult to change prices in units of ¥1. Therefore, it is deemed appropriate for industries to divide products into two categories—one in which the tax hike is to be passed on in units of ¥10 and the other in which the prices will remain unchanged—while setting the average price increase margin at about three percentage points. The special measures also allow retailers to display prices that exclude the consumption tax.
 すでに清涼飲料業界などがカルテルを申請した。自動販売機では1円刻みの価格変更が難しい。10円単位で転嫁する商品と、値段を据え置く商品を設け、値上げ幅の平均を増税分の3%と同程度にするという考えは妥当である。
 特措法は、小売店での税抜き価格表示も容認した。

Up to now, retailers have been required by law to display the total price, including the consumption tax, which is easy for customers to grasp.
従来は、支払額が一目で分かる税込み表示(総額表示)を義務づけていた。

Although this measure is designed to lessen the burden of retailers as they can avoid changing price tags when the tax hike goes into effect, it will lead to a situation in which marked prices differ among retailers, confusing customers. Retailers need to come up with ideas so consumers can easily understand which method retailers are using in displaying their prices.
 増税時の表示変更の負担を減らす目的だが、複数の表示が混在し、顧客が混乱しかねない。各店がどんな表示方法を採用しているか、消費者に分かりやすく伝える工夫を凝らしてもらいたい。

The government also forbids large companies—due to their clout—to refuse to accept the price increases made by their suppliers that would allow the tax hike to be tacked on to their prices. We must give credit to such government efforts as reinforcing the system at the Small and Medium Enterprise Agency and the Fair Trade Commission by having about 600 inspectors tasked with ensuring the tax hike is passed on.
 政府は、大企業が強い立場を利用して、価格転嫁を拒む行為も禁じた。転嫁対策調査官(転嫁Gメン)を約600人配置するなど、中小企業庁や公正取引委員会の体制も強化したのは評価できる。

The government should make absolutely sure that everything is aboveboard where actual deals are made. Some businesses may be reluctant to provide information concerning the improper actions of their trading partners to the relevant authorities. The government should spare no effort to publicize the special measures to create an environment in which smaller businesses are not compelled to accept what their stronger business partners want.
 取引現場の不正を防ぐため、万全を期すべきだ。取引先の不当行為の情報提供をためらう業者が出ることも予想される。特措法の趣旨を周知徹底し、泣き寝入りさせない環境を作るべきだろう。

It is also difficult to tell the difference between unfair actions of a purchaser and a price reduction made through a corporate effort. Suppliers also need to keep detailed data of price negotiations.
 不当な買いたたきか、企業努力による値引きかの判断も難しい。価格交渉の詳細な記録を残すなど納入業者にも対策が必要だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 3, 2013)
(2013年12月3日01時34分  読売新聞)

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