« 核燃料サイクル 公正な審査で前に進めたい | トップページ | 道徳の教科化 規範意識の涵養につながるか »

2014年1月12日 (日)

4月の消費増税 景気の腰折れ回避に万全期せ

The Yomiuri Shimbun January 10, 2014
Take firm measures to avoid severe downturn after consumption tax hike
4月の消費増税 景気の腰折れ回避に万全期せ(1月10日付・読売社説)

 ◆賃上げで「経済の好循環」実現を

The consumption tax is set to be raised to 8 percent from the current 5 percent, effective April 1.
 消費税率が4月に5%から8%に引き上げられる。

The government must make every possible effort to make the tax hike the first step toward achieving fiscal stability, while working with the private sector to prevent the business recovery from losing momentum further down the road.
財政健全化への第一歩にするとともに、官民で景気の腰折れを防がねばならない。

As a result of the Abenomics economic policy mix of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration, there have been clearer signs that business activities have embarked on a recovery path. Thanks to a rush in demand ahead of the tax increase, sales in such areas as durable goods have been doing well.
 安倍政権の経済政策「アベノミクス」の効果で景気の回復基調が鮮明になってきた。消費増税前の駆け込み需要で耐久消費財などの販売も好調だ。

The challenge of defeating deflation, however, is only half over, as the national economy has yet to be put on a sustainable growth track led by the private sector.
 だが、デフレ克服は道半ばで、日本経済はまだ、民間主導の持続的な成長には至っていない。

The possibility cannot be ruled out that consumer spending will stagnate in the wake of the upcoming tax hike, giving rise to fears that the economy could rapidly plunge into a severe downturn.
増税後、消費が低迷し、景気が急速に落ち込むことも懸念される。

It is only natural for the prime minister to have stressed that “should the economy lose the power to grow, everything could go wrong.”
 安倍首相が「成長する力を失ったら元も子もない」と強調しているのは当然だろう。

Burden on households
 ◆心配な家計の負担増

With a view to mitigating the negative impacts of the tax hike, the government is set to submit to an ordinary Diet session, to be convened late this month, a ¥5.5 trillion supplementary budget for fiscal 2013, as well as an initial state budget for fiscal 2014, of which the general account expenditures will run up to ¥95.9 trillion, an all-time high.
 政府は増税の影響を緩和するため、5・5兆円の2013年度補正予算案と、一般会計総額が95・9兆円と過去最大の14年度当初予算案を、今月下旬に始まる通常国会へ提出する。

The main pillars of both budgets will be disbursements for public works projects to stimulate business activities, but there has been a conspicuous number of cases in which no tender bids have been concluded, due to such reasons as labor shortages at construction sites and sharp rises in the cost of construction materials.
 両予算案とも公共事業が景気対策の柱だが、建設現場の人手不足や資材価格の値上がりで入札が不調となる例も目立つ。

Under the circumstances, the government must make both budgets become law as early as possible to implement them smoothly, giving priority to public works projects that are particularly necessary and will be highly effective in stimulating the economy.
 予算案を早期に成立させ、必要性や効果の高い事業を優先して円滑な執行を図るべきだ。

The government plans to provide businesses with generous measures, including the abolition in late March, a month earlier than scheduled, of special corporate tax levies to help resuscitate areas hit by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. It will also introduce tax code revisions including tax cuts for corporate capital investment.
 政府は復興特別法人税を3月末に前倒しで廃止するほか、設備投資減税などの税制改正も行う方針で、企業向けの対策が手厚い。

What is worrisome is that the government can hardly be said to have paid adequate attention to household budgets.
 心配なのは、家計への配慮が十分とは言えないことだ。

After the tax hike takes effect, the burden on households will increase by more than ¥6 trillion a year, according to a Cabinet Office estimate. There are fears that the higher tax will damper consumers’ impetus to spend, possibly throwing cold water over prospects for a business pickup.
内閣府の試算によると、消費増税で家計の負担額は6兆円以上増える。増税が消費意欲を減退させ、景気に冷や水を浴びせる恐れがある。

With raw material prices soaring and a progressively weakening yen, markups have been continuing in one area after another, such as electricity bills and foodstuffs. If the consumption tax hike is accompanied by a vicious circle of price increases mainly due to rising costs, consumer sentiment may be dealt an even heavier blow.
 原材料価格の上昇と円安進行に伴い、電気料金や食料品などの値上げも相次いでいる。コスト高が主因の「悪い物価上昇」に消費増税が重なれば、消費への打撃はさらに大きくなろう。

The government is urged to materialize a virtuous economic circle in which businesses that are achieving improved profitability initiate wage hikes, which will lead to expanded consumer spending on the strength of higher household income, which in turn will further increase corporate profits.
 業績が好調な企業は、収益向上を賃上げにつなげ、家計の所得増で消費が伸び、企業収益がさらに拡大するという「経済の好循環」の実現に努めてもらいたい。

The prime minister has been calling for businesses to raise wages on such occasions as meetings since late late year between the government and representatives from large employers and trade unions, including the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren) and the Japanese Trade Union Confederation (Rengo).
 安倍首相は昨年来、経団連や連合との政労使協議などで企業に賃上げを求めている。

In his New Year’s press conference, Keidanren Chairman Hiromasa Yonekura said the nation’s most powerful business lobby has been asking member companies to raise salaries for their employees.
 経団連の米倉弘昌会長は新年の記者会見で「会員企業には賃上げをしてほしいとお願いしている」と述べた。

Yasuchika Hasegawa, chairman of the Japan Association of Corporate Executives (Keizai Doyukai), another major employers’ organization, has said, “The time is ripe for businesses to consider raising wages when a situation emerges in which prices are on the rise.”
経済同友会の長谷川閑史代表幹事も、「物価が上がる状況になれば賃上げを考える時期に来ている」と語った。

Annual spring wage negotiations between labor and management will kick off late this month. It is an encouraging sign that business circles are showing an increasing appreciation of the need for wage hikes.
 春闘は今月下旬から始まる。経済界で賃上げの必要性への理解が深まってきたのは心強い。

But no similar awareness has yet permeated small and midsize businesses that still have not seen the benefits of the business recovery. Expanding pay increases to include small and midsize companies in addition to big businesses is a part of the challenge ahead.
 ただ、景気回復の恩恵が行き渡っていない中小企業には、こうした認識は浸透していない。大企業に加えて、賃上げをいかに中小企業に拡大するかが課題である。

Smooth price shift vital
 ◆円滑な転嫁が不可欠だ

As Japan seeks to put the national economy on a steady path of growth, while at the same time dealing with the coming impact of the planned consumption tax hike, the management capability of individual firms will be tested as they are forced to make corporate decisions.
 消費増税を乗り越え、日本経済を着実に成長軌道に乗せる上で、経営体力に応じた企業各社の決断が問われよう。

Enabling businesses to pass on incremental costs that will be incurred with the April tax increase will be indispensable to a smooth transition in prices.
 4月の引き上げ時には、企業が増税分を円滑に価格転嫁できるようにすることも不可欠である。

In 1997, when the sales tax rate was lifted from 3 percent to 5 percent, the pleas of micro enterprises and small and midsize businesses to raise prices for their big business customers fell on deaf ears, leaving the smaller firms with no alternative but to hold prices steady.
 1997年の前回の増税時は、多くの中小・零細の納入業者が大企業に価格への上乗せを拒まれ、泣き寝入りを強いられた。

Last fall saw the government enforce a law on special measures to ensure a smooth and appropriate price pass-through, banning big enterprises from leveraging their positions of power to reject price shifts.
 政府は昨年秋に消費税転嫁対策特別措置法を施行し、大企業が強い立場を利用して価格転嫁を拒む行為などを禁止した。

However, it is difficult to discover this sort of irregularity in actual commercial transactions.
 商取引の現場で起きる不正を見抜くのは難しい。

We can expect suppliers to be hesitant to provide information to the government, for fear of being suspended from transactions by their customers, even if the suppliers have had their requests for price shifts rejected.
 転嫁を断られても納入業者が取引を停止されることを恐れ、政府への情報提供をためらうケースが想定される。

We urge the government to make it known to all concerned that this type of retaliatory action is banned under the law on special measures and to encourage all affected small and midsize companies to report these illegal acts.
 政府は対策法がこうした報復措置を禁じていることを周知徹底して、中小企業などに不当行為の通報を促してもらいたい。

Abe is expected to decide, possibly before the end of the year, on whether to further increase the sales tax to 10 percent in October 2015 as currently planned.
 首相は早ければ年末までに、消費税率を15年10月に10%へ引き上げるかどうかを決める意向だ。

Abe must choose prudently after a close examination of the impacts of the April tax increase.
 4月の増税が景気に与える影響を精査した上で、慎重に判断しなくてはなるまい。

Reduced rate system a priority
 ◆軽減税率の設計を急げ

If the rate is to be raised to 10 percent, a reduced tax rate system must be introduced simultaneously to keep taxes down on daily necessities.
 10%へ引き上げる場合は、生活必需品の税率を低く抑える軽減税率を同時に導入すべきだ。

The government plans to provide cash benefits to low-income earners as part of economic measures to accompany the upcoming jump to 8 percent.
 政府は消費税率を8%に引き上げる段階では、景気対策の一環として、低所得者に給付金を支払うことにしている。

But the effect of such a temporary provision of benefits is limited.
 だが、一時的な給付金の支給では、効果は限られる。

The adoption of a reduced rate system would be more effective because its benefits will be permanently extended to everyone, including low-income consumers.
 軽減税率なら低所得層を含む消費者全体へ持続的に恩恵が及び、より有効な手当てになろう。

In their tax system reform guidelines compiled late last year, the Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner New Komeito did not propose a clear date for adoption of the reduced tax rate system.
 自民、公明の与党は昨年末にまとめた税制改正大綱で、軽減税率の導入時期を明確にしなかった。

They must set its introduction to coincide with the introduction of the 10 percent tax rate, and they must also accelerate work on the design of the system, including determination of the reduced tax rates and the items to which these rates will apply.
10%への引き上げと同時の導入を決断し、税率や品目の選定など制度設計を急ぐ必要がある。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 10, 2014)
(2014年1月10日01時23分  読売新聞)

|

« 核燃料サイクル 公正な審査で前に進めたい | トップページ | 道徳の教科化 規範意識の涵養につながるか »

01-英字新聞(読売)」カテゴリの記事

コメント

コメントを書く



(ウェブ上には掲載しません)




« 核燃料サイクル 公正な審査で前に進めたい | トップページ | 道徳の教科化 規範意識の涵養につながるか »