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Ruling bloc to pledge social security for “all generations” in election manifesto

  • September 22, 2017
  • , Yomiuri , p. 1
  • JMH Translation

The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and Komeito have decided to pledge the creation of a social security system that is oriented toward “all generations,” including free preschool education, in a joint platform for the Lower House election, for which official campaigning will start on Oct. 10 and voting will take place on Oct. 22. The ruling bloc will also promise to use a portion of tax revenues for child-rearing support instead of paying off government debt after a planned rise in the nation’s sales tax to 10% from 8% in October 2019. Furthermore, the ruling parties will include the promotion of Abenomics and the introduction of a reduced tax rate on food and other necessities in the platform.

 

The shift to a social security system for “all generations” by diverting the use of revenue generated by the tax hike will become a key feature of the election manifesto it is currently drawing up as instructed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who also serves as LDP president. Komeito is expected to endorse the change in the use of tax revenue as it has concluded that it will be a step toward providing free preschool education, which the party has been advocating.

 

Komeito leader Natsuo Yamaguchi said in a press conference on Sept. 21, “If substantial financial resources are needed for a social security system for ‘all generations,’ I will talk with the prime minister and think about how the consumption tax can be used,” demonstrating a positive attitude toward changing the way tax revenues are used.

 

The introduction of a reduced tax rate was agreed upon by the LDP and Komeito immediately before the previous Lower House election held in 2014. The two parties will promote the policy again in the upcoming Lower House election in a bid to seek public understanding for the tax hike.

 

On the other hand, the draft campaign pledge compiled by the LDP focuses on five main policies: promoting Abenomics, work-style reforms and revolution in human resources development, measures to address North Korea’s threats, and constitutional amendment. As for detailed measures, support for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games and tourism promotion will be included in the draft pledge in an effort to accelerate Abenomics.

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