NAGUMO Speaks! RENGO's Statement by General Secretary
Legislation for Comprehensive Social Security and Tax System Reforms Enacted
10 August 2012
At a plenary session of the House of Councillors (Upper House) held on August 10, a set of bills related to the legislation for comprehensive social security and tax system reforms was passed with a majority support, thus enacting the legislation. Since the passage of the bills in the House of Representatives (Lower House) on June 26, the priority in the Diet had been regrettably put on developments in the political situation, but, with the enactment of the legislation, it is properly appreciated that a first step has been taken toward reforms leading to the future security of the people. As to the matters still remaining even with the enactment of the legislation, it is strongly demanded that sincere discussions on them are to be conducted continuously between ruling and opposition parties.
As to social security system, it is expected that improvements in both quantity and quality will be made in child support system or childcare support system, i.e. improvement in certified child institution system and betterments of childcare system including small scale childcare. Moreover, integration of various employees’ pension plans will be carried out and application of social insurances to short-time workers who number about 250,000 will be expanded.
From now on, on top of executing them steadily, decisive actions should be taken toward such reforms as public pension system reform, medical system for the aged reform and the creation of life support system for the needy, through rapid examination in the National Council for the Reform of Social Security System and in the related Deliberative Councils as well.
As to tax system reform, consumption tax will be raised step by step to secure a stable resource for social security. Together with laying the groundwork for smoothly passing the raise on to the prices for small and medium-sized enterprises, specific measures for low income earners should be developed rapidly. It is also necessary to conduct discussions constructively between ruling and opposition parties and to get conclusions in such reviews as on income tax and asset tax in the FY2013 tax reform so as to strengthen the function of income redistribution.
Since a “divided Diet” < a Diet situation in which the opposition parties share the majority over the ruling parties in the House of Councillors> occurred, the priority in the Diet had been put on developments in the political situation, and “politics which is unable to make any decision” has continued without any substantial discussions on the important policies which are directly related to the life of people. It has caused strong distrust among people. It is significant, however, that the legislation for comprehensive social security and tax system reforms has advanced in such a “divided Diet” with the agreement between major ruling and opposition parties. In the future, too, if the function of the Diet to discuss sincerely between ruling and opposition parties and to decide without delay the important subjects which are closely related to the life of the whole people is not recovered, people’s confidence upon politics will never be recovered.
Keeping an aim in mind to build “a secure society built around work as its core”, RENGO will tackle solving the problems left behind the legislation for comprehensive social security and tax system reforms. At the same time, RENGO will make all its efforts for realizing the policies and systems which RENGO demands such as reconstruction and revival from the East Japan Great Earthquake, freeing from deflation, return to a course toward sustainable growth, creation of good quality employment and restoration of thick middle class.