LDP, Komei, DPJ agree to vote on pension cut bill

The ruling Liberal Democratic and Komei parties with the opposition Democratic Party on May 6 agreed to railroad the House of Representatives plenary session into voting on the pension bill on May 11.

The agreement was conditional on taking steps to establish subcommittees in both houses to (1) discuss establishing a single-payer pension insurance system by unifying the present National Pension scheme and the Employee Pension Insurance system, and (2) comprehensively review the social programs, including pension, nursing care, and medical care, and draw conclusions by 2007.

It also called for a ruling-opposition panel to be set up in the Diet to discuss this issue.

The LDP and the DPJ are in favor of using money from the consumption tax to fund the pensions, which means imposing heavier financial burdens on the public, Akahata reported on May 7.

The DPJ, together with the Japanese Communist and Social Democratic parties, had protested about the arbitrary passage of the pension bill through the House of Representatives committee meeting on April 28. These opposition parties jointly had demanded that the bill be brought back to the Lower House committee for further discussion. (end)

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