Zenroren protests railroading of bills to raise consumption tax and cut back social services
Statement by ODAGAWA Yoshikazu
National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren)
June 27, 2012
The House of Representatives on June 26 approved gtax and social security reformh bills centered on a consumption tax increase ultimately to 10 percent (from the present 5 percent) by a majority vote. The ruling Democratic Party and the opposition Liberal Democratic and New Komeito parties voted in favor of the bill. However, 57 DPJ members voted against at least the core consumption increase bill. The time spent on deliberation of the bills was far from sufficient. The bills were railroaded amid growing public criticism of the government of Prime Minister NODA Yoshihiko for rushing to a tax increase by throwing away the promise his party made in the 2009 House of Representatives general election.
The National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren) is very concerned that a massive consumption tax increase of more than 13 trillion yen (about 160 billion US dollars) will further worsen workersf living conditions and exacerbate deflationary pressure. It is pointed out that the set of gtax and social security reform billsh could violate the constitutional right to live (Article 25). Passage of the bills without sufficient time allotted to deliberation is a flagrant violation of parliamentary democracy. The billsf concept that consumption tax revenue will be used to pay social security benefits only guts the principle to pay taxes gaccording to the ability to payh and will weaken the function of redistribution of wealth, which in turn will certainly widen the income inequality. The approved bills are aimed only at massive consumption tax increase, which has nothing in common with greform.h
Zenroren protest the railroading of the bills. But our struggle to stop the bills will intensify throughout the country after being sent to the House of Councilors (Upper House). Let us send our voices of protest to members of the Diet who voted in favor of the bills in the House of Representatives. Let us visit local offices of all members of the House of Councilors and urge them to block passage of the gtax and social security reform billsh. We will step up the publicity campaign everywhere in the country. We will collect signature against the bills and take them to the Diet every Wednesday, when we hold protest action in Front of the Diet. We will work harder to heighten public opinion against a consumption tax increase and adverse reforms of social security services.
gHow reckless it is to raise the consumption tax rate when deflationary pressure is increasing.h This is a cry arising from the distribution industry. The business sector is not united. The Japan Federation of Bar Associations has issued a statement by its president to point out the unconstitutionality of the social security reform bills, indicating how faulty the bills are. On June 23, 24,000 people angered by the undemocratic government held a rally in Meiji Park in Tokyo. The struggle has just begun. We call on all our friends around the country to do all they can to criticize the ruling Democratic Party and the opposition Liberal Democratic and New Komeito parties for their policy rigging and heighten the level of the call for the House of Representatives to be solved for a general election to seek peoplefs verdict and let public opinion change the situation.