RENGO Serves PM Koizumi with Urgent Pension System Reform Demand

30 April 2004
While the Diet deliberations continue to get bogged down going nowhere and confusion reigns over the proceedings, the government and ruling parties have not hesitated to railroad the pension bill through the Committee on Health, Labour and Welfare (House of Representatives) on April 28 with hardly any debate over the contents of the bill. If this bill passed without any changes, the burden on both labor and management will further exceed the limits and will inevitably result in a wide variety of adverse effects which will include employment. In the final analysis, it is we the workers who will be inflicted with having to bear the heaviest sacrifices. Since the end of the last year, RENGO has advocated that "we should reexamine the tax and social security systems in an integrated manner and conduct fundamental reform." In the current situation, however, not only is the path to fundamental reform closed to us but in fact we will not even be allowed to discuss the issue in the future.

It was with this in mind that RENGO President and General Secretary paid a visit to Prime Minister Koizumi on April 26 to serve him with an urgent demand. The contents of those demands and his answers were as follows:
  • RENGO: Reexamination on whole social security system, including the situation regarding such burdens as tax and premiums, and benefits.
    Prime Minister: We will consider social security collectively along with medical care and nursing care.

  • RENGO: Set the upper limit of pension premiums at 15% and reexamine the entire social security system along with radical reform of the tax system scheduled in 2007. In order to do this, establish a forum for discussion among the government, labor and management.
    PM: We will establish a forum for discussion between the ruling and opposition parties and also invite representatives from labor to join.

  • RENGO: Consider RENGO’s proposed improvement plan which introduces taxes to be used as a resource for pensions.
    PM: Consumption tax should be considered comprehensively along with medical care and nursing care.

  • RENGO: Adopt the pension system reform package bill with its supplementary provisions, as well as a supplementary resolution.
    PM: As this is a party matter, I will discuss this issue with the Liberal Democratic Party and the Health, Labor and Welfare Minister he will take it to the opposition parties.

  • RENGO: Disclose information and send notification of payment schedule to premium payers.
    PM: That should be an administrative service.