The government’s budget draft for 2014 Fiscal Year deeply commits in economic growth and revival and underlines military and national security arrangements as Premier Abe calls for ‘struggles to recover strong Japan’. The financial basis of state’s budget, however, depends on the increased consumption tax. ‘Strong Japan’ means sacrifices, deteriorated employment, deepened poverty and widened gaps on the side of people.
STRONG NATION DEPENDS ON INCREASED CONSUMPTION TAX
Tax rate heightened and military strengthened
The general account totals 95.8823 trillion Yen, which is bigger than the initial budget of the 2013 Fiscal by 3.2708 trillion Yen. It is the increased consumption tax rate of 8%, which will be implemented as of April, 2014, that has brought this size of state budget. Increased amount of revenue is estimated as 4.5350 trillion Yen.
Revenue from the consumption tax is the biggest, which amounts 15.3390 trillion Yen, in the estimated total yields. It exceeds that of the income tax, which is 14.7900 trillion Yen. Revenue from the consumption tax has been usually greater than that of corporate taxes since 2009. That means neo-liberal taxation which sacrifices lives of people is completed.
The government tells that the increased tax portion was entirely allocated to social services, but it is simply an armchair theory. Let’s look into increases in the expenditure for social services, which amounts only 1.3951 trillion Yen. Excluding subsidies rendered to municipalities, consequently, a balance gained from the increased consumption tax revenue, which is approximately 2.9 trillion Yen, is appropriated to expanding military expenditure and to reducing government bonds to be newly issued.
Abe Government wants ‘Strong Japan’
Premier Abe Shinzo says: ‘the current budget is designed to invest for the future to enhance competitiveness and to bring safety and relief in people’s life’. In other words Premier tells that tax money is spent, firstly, on ‘strong economy’, or on ‘strong competitiveness’ in particular, and, secondly, on military build-up and national security affairs.
To intensify market competitiveness to favor transnational corporations is a third element of the so-called Abenomics, the cornerstone of his ‘strategy to rebuild Japan’. In December last year the government enacted several laws; they are Industrial Competitiveness Enhancement Act, Revised R&D Potential Intensification Act and Law to Establish Special Zones for State Strategies.
In the draft budget enumerated are expenses for development of H-III rockets, super global college programs, development of next-generation-type industrial 3D printers, and preparations to set up NHI, or National Hygiene Institute.
The fiscal 2014 is the first year of the Mid-term Defense Program based on the National Security Defense Guidelines. A proposed budget is characterized by reinforcement of military power to target China: expenditures to acquire amphibious vehicles to respond to the newly organized amphibious mobile units and to research on introducing Ospreys and drone reconnaissance planes. It is urgent to create anti-war zones in the Northeast Asian region to prevent meaningless competitions with China.
Poverty Deepens and Gaps Widens
A law, called National Resilience Act, was enacted and relevant policies have been compiled. ‘Public’ construction works are financed in the fiscals of 2013 and 14 consecutively. Mini-bubbles have been produced and the effective demand-supply ratio of labor force recovered last November.
Irregular employment, however, prevails. Out of the total workforce 37.2% are employed with irregular conditions. ‘Limited regular workers’, who are unstable employees with regular employment conditions, increase. Such practices are advised as one of the growth strategies supported by a policy to transfer labor force.
Let’s oppose the initiative of ‘strong Japan’ of the Abe government in order to stop deterioration of employment, increases of poor workers and arrogant behaviors of so-called black companies.
January 28, 2014