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2014年5月18日 (日)

法人税率下げ 成長志向で具体策をまとめよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun 4:00 am, May 18, 2014
Corporate tax rate cut needed to strengthen firms’ competitiveness
法人税率下げ 成長志向で具体策をまとめよ

A cut in the corporate tax rate is urgently needed if the nation wants to strengthen the competitiveness of Japanese corporations, thereby halting the hollowing-out of its industries. Presenting specific measures is essential to turn the wheels of both economic rejuvenation and fiscal reconstruction.
 企業の競争力を強化して、産業空洞化に歯止めをかけるには、法人減税が急務である。経済再生と財政再建を両立させる具体策が求められる。

The government’s discussion of whether the nation should lower the effective rate of the corporate tax as the centerpiece of its next growth strategy has entered its final phase.
 政府の成長戦略の目玉として、法人税の実効税率引き下げを巡る論議が大詰めを迎えている。

“I’d like you to show directions for reforming the corporate taxation to be growth-oriented,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy, instructing it to clearly stipulate a cut in the rate in the Basic Policies for Economic and Fiscal Management and Reform, which will be announced in June.
 安倍首相は経済財政諮問会議で「法人税を成長志向型の構造に変革する方向性を示してほしい」と述べ、6月の「経済財政運営の基本方針」(骨太方針)に税率引き下げを明記するよう指示した。

The effective corporate tax rate stands at 35.64 percent in Tokyo, a rate higher than is seen in many European and Asian nations, whose corresponding tax rates are in the 20 percent range.
 法人税の実効税率は、35・64%(東京都)で、20%台が多い欧州やアジアの国々より高い。

In a speech made in Britain early this month, the prime minister stressed he was concentrating on bringing investment and human resources to Japan. He apparently pins high hopes on the favorable effects a cut in the effective corporate tax rate would bring in attracting foreign investment to this country, which would be a shot in the arm for economic growth.
 首相は英国で今月初め、「日本に投資と人材を呼び込むよう専念している」と強調した。法人減税によって外国から対日投資を呼び込み、成長に弾みを付ける効果にも期待しているからだろう。

Akira Amari, state minister in charge of economic and fiscal policy, has said he wants to lower the effective rate into the 20 percent range in five years or so. A council member from the private sector called for reducing it below the 30 percent mark in a few years and eventually to 25 percent.
 甘利経済財政相は、5年程度で20%台に引き下げたい考えだ。諮問会議の民間議員も、「将来的には25%、数年以内に20%台を目指すべきだ」と主張している。

It is understandable for the government to want to inform the world of its intention to drastically lower the rate by incorporating the cut in its basic policies, which will inevitably attract wide attention from the markets.
 市場が注目する骨太方針で、大胆な引き下げ方針を国際的に発信したい意向は理解できる。

Alternative source needed

At stake, however, is how to secure an alternative revenue source. It is said that lowering the effective rate to below the 30 percent mark will require an alternative source of about ¥3 trillion.
 しかし、最大の問題は減税の代替財源をどう確保するかだ。実効税率が30%を切るには、約3兆円の財源が要る。

However, some quarters of the government and the business sector argue that revenues from the corporate tax itself will be higher than the original forecast as the economy moves onto a steady path toward recovery.
 政府や経済界の一部では、景気回復とともに当初見込みより上振れする法人税収を財源に充てるべきだという意見が出ている。

But tax revenues are at the mercy of economic fluctuations. Using increased revenues from the corporate tax could be one option, but it is problematic to carry out a tax reduction by relying on projected natural increases in revenue from the corporate tax.
 ただ、税収は景気動向に左右される。上振れ分を減税財源の一部に活用する案は選択肢になり得るとしても、自然増収だけを頼りに減税を行うのは問題だろう。

A draft on corporate taxation reform announced Friday by the government’s Tax Commission gives approval to a tax cut before finding alternative sources to fill the shortfall, saying it is not necessary to keep the same level of tax revenues for every single fiscal year. However, it added that it is an invariable principle to have a permanent tax revenue source as long as there is a permanent tax reduction.
 政府税制調査会が16日にまとめた法人税改革の原案は、「単年度での税収中立である必要はない」として、減税先行を容認する方針を示した。併せて、「恒久減税である以上、恒久財源を用意することは鉄則」と明記した。

Japan’s fiscal health is critically deteriorating. It is appropriate for the commission to underscore the importance of securing necessary revenue sources in several years when jump-starting a tax cut in view of economic growth.
 日本の財政悪化は深刻である。成長重視で減税を先行させる場合でも複数年で財源を確保する重要性を明確にしたのは妥当だ。

As about 70 percent of domestic companies do not pay corporate taxes at all, it is indispensable to expand the taxation base to ask more companies to shoulder a small amount of tax burdens.
 国内企業の約7割が法人税を払っていない。欠かせないのが、企業に広く薄く法人税負担を求める「課税ベースの拡大」である。

Special taxation measures that have provided tax breaks for certain industries should be abolished or scaled down if they are deemed no longer effective in terms of policy implementation. It also merits consideration to expand the size-based business tax, which levies tax in accordance with the scale of a business regardless of the deficits many of them are running.
 特定業種の税負担を軽減する租税特別措置については、政策効果が薄れたものは廃止・縮小すべきだ。赤字企業であっても、事業規模に応じて納税する外形標準課税の拡大も検討に値する。

The government should come up with a realistic taxation plan that would help secure a certain level of revenue sources.
 財源に一定のめどをつけた現実的な案をまとめてもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 17, 2014)

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