Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare released a report July 17, entitled as ‘Outline
of Investigations on People’s Basic Life in 2019’. According to it, the
relative poverty rate has declined a little from the previous survey, but it remains
high. This current study was a record as of the year 2018, and therefore,
reality today is worse due to the pandemic.
DRASTIC CHANGES MUST
BE MADE RIGHT AWAY IN POLICIES
Ministry conducts a survey every three years on the basic living conditions of
people, announcing a relative poverty rate. A poverty line is calculated as a
half of the median value of disposable incomes, which is \1.27 million Yen in the
recent study. A ratio of people who live below the poverty line (a relative
poverty rate) is 15.4%, which is lower than the previous figure by minus 0.3
point (if applied is the new OECD norm, it is 15.8%). Nineteen million
Japanese, or one of every 6.5 people, live in poverty.
families have a hard life
children’s poverty rate is 13.5%, which is lower than the result of 2015 survey
by minus 0.4 point (according to the new OECD norms, it is 14.0%). If the
figure is reflected in a real number of the child population, it counts
approximately 2.60 million. The highest was recorded in the 2012 survey, in
which the rate was 16.3%. If the 2020 figure is compared with that of eight
years ago, it is lower by a little under 3%. If it is compared with figures of
foreign countries, it ranks high among the developed nations, following the United States.
poverty comes from parents’ poverty. Due to lack of labor force, employment has
grown for years, which has decreased a poverty rate. Nonetheless, one child of
every seven children lives below the poverty line.
families have, as usual, a hard life. The poverty rate is 48.1%, which is lower
than the 2015 survey figure by minus 2.7 point (if applied is the new OECD
norms, it is 48.2%). That means one single-parent family per two faces poverty.
As of the year 2016, the number of households with a mother and child/children counts
1.232 family units and those with a father and child/children, 187 thousand.
policy is poor
the pandemic the government grants an emergency special benefit to families with
small children; an allowance of \10 thousand per child to a family which is covered
by the Child Benefits program. For single-parent families, the government pays
an emergency special benefit amounting \50 thousand for the eldest child, and
\30 thousand for subsequent children of a family which is a recipient of the Child
Care Allowance program, a scheme for single-parent families.
some local governments grant some additional benefits, the state government pays
for the Child Care Allowance scheme, it provides a harsh income limit and the standard
amount is not big. Its rules are as follows: an applicant presents an income
record of the previous year in August and after examinations, he/she will be
paid in January of the following year.
a family is not covered by the Child Care Allowance program and has decreased
its income due to the pandemic, it is eligible to receive an emergency special benefit,
but it is not always entitled to receive a child care allowance.
to a spread of the disease schools were closed down across the country: under
these conditions boys and girls could not enjoy school lunches. Many parents
decrease incomes due to day-offs or closure of workplaces. Tragic child abuses
do not end. Drastic changes are needed urgently in the child benefit and child care