With an eye on the House of Councillors election this summer, the government included policies in a range of fields in its “Plan to Realize the Dynamic Engagement of All Citizens” released on May 18. But many of the measures stipulated in the plan are mid- to long-term goals. Finding permanent funding sources will be a challenge for the government.
The plan stipulates that the wages of daycare workers and nursing care workers will be raised, but these measures alone are estimated to cost about 200 billion yen.
Asked about where the money will come from at a press conference held after the plan was released, Katsunobu Kato, minister in charge of the dynamic engagement of all citizens, said: “[The program will be funded] by tax increases generated through the Abenomics stimulus and reductions in spending due to a decline in the provision of unemployment benefits thanks to the improved job market. The amount of money will be decided during the budget compilation process at the end of the year.” He admitted that no funding sources have been secured at this stage.
Attention is now being paid to whether the consumption tax will be raised to 10% as scheduled. “If the tax is raised as scheduled, the Ministry of Finance will allocate a certain amount of money to the plan,” said a senior Liberal Democratic Party member. “But if the hike is postponed, it may be scrapped.” (Abridged)