NAGUMO Speaks! RENGO's Statement by General Secretary
Three Parties Reach an Agreement on Integrated Reform of Social Security and Taxation
18 June 2012
The three parties of the Democratic Party of Japan, the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan and the New Komeito Party came to an agreement about a “confirmation on the integrated reform of social security and taxation” on June 15. Although there were partial amendments to the government draft and some items left for further consultations and examinations, RENGO recognizes the agreement of the three parties as promoting the reform, however small a step it may be, under a state of the House of Councilors (Upper House) where the oppositions are predominant over the ruling parties.
The main points confirmed and agreed on the social security system are a) to get a bill for promoting the reform of the social security system to be passed by the current session of the Diet together with the integrated reform bill, in which provisions to ensure the system to be sustainable and to install a national council for reforming the social security system are incorporated; and b) to get five bills submitted by the government in relation to the reform of social security to be passed in the current session of the Diet with amendments. It is regrettable that, in the amendment of the bills related to the social security system, the idea of founding “children’s gardens combined” which has been drawn up to integrate kindergartens and childcare facilities was shelved. It is also regrettable that the scope of the people covered by social insurances has not been expanded and their enforcement date has been delayed. In the national council for reforming the social security system to be set up in the future, measures for declining birthrate, social insurances, medical care for the aged and livelihood protection allowances will be examined. In order to build up “a social security system which is supported by all generations”, it is requested that scrupulous discussions be made in the Diet and then reforms be promoted through obtaining a national consensus.
As to the reform of taxation system, particularly as to raising the consumer tax step by step, agreements were reached to make the raise a stable source of financing for social security, to strengthen the measures against passing the raise on to the prices in the small and medium-sized businesses, and to implement measures for the low income earners, all of which are correspondent to the course of reforms that RENGO demands. On the other hand, as to the examination of the introduction of plural tax ratios for the low income earners and the strengthened progressiveness of income tax and asset tax, it was agreed that measures will be taken in the reform of FY2013 taxation system, thus partially amending or putting off the government’s draft proposals. It is necessary that constructive discussions be continued between ruling and opposition parties toward realizing a substantial reform of taxation system including strengthening its income redistribution function.
In the midst of the rapid decrease of birth rate, the integrated reform of social security and taxation is not a matter to be waited for a long time. It is requested to pass the bill as early as possible through sincere discussions between ruling and opposition parties in the Diet.
RENGO will continue to aim at building “a secure society built around work as its core theme”. For that purpose, RENGO will approach to the government and ruling and opposition parties so that they will take into consideration its proposals made in its “a social security vision for new 21st century” and its “3rd basic outline of taxation reform”. At the same time, RENGO will develop its movement at each workplace and in each region so as to realize them with all its might.