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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 May 27 - June 2  > Shii comments on gov’t-proposed 2nd supplementary budget
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2020 May 27 - June 2 [POLITICS]

Shii comments on gov’t-proposed 2nd supplementary budget

May 29, 2020
Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo on May 28 at a press conference in the Diet building commented on a second supplementary budget draft which the Abe administration approved earlier on the day.

Shii said, “Pushed by public opinion and opposition parties’ Diet efforts, the government under the second supplementary budget will increase its expenditures on support for the medical system and on other relief measures,” and explained major issues that the JCP will focus on in the coming Diet discussions on the latest budget proposal.

Shii pointed out, “The second supplementary budget includes a plan to increase the number of teachers to support the reopening of schools. If implemented, however, the plan will raise the number of teachers across Japan only by 3,100.” Shii said that nine out of ten public elementary and junior high schools will be excluded from this measure. He stressed that under a situation where all public schools are facing a mountain of problems pertaining to the three-month school closure, the government plan is totally insufficient. Along with government support for the reopening of schools, Shii demanded that as financial assistance to students, the government should introduce a uniform system to reduce tuition fees by half.

Shii criticized the implementation of state relief measures as too slow to prevent a massive bankruptcy of businesses and resultant unemployment due to the negative impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Shii said that in scheduled Diet deliberations on the proposed additional budget, the JCP will push the government to speed up the pace of providing support to ensure the survival of workers and businesses.

As an example of inadequate measures, Shii referred to the government employment adjustment subsidy program. Shii said that under the newly proposed budget, in response to demands from the JCP and its fellow opposition parties, the upper limit on the subsidy amount was raised to 330,000 yen a month, the same level as that paid in Britain. Meanwhile, stating that this program still has problems, Shii pointed out that the number of requests for free advice on the application for the subsidy program has exceeded 380,000 while the number of applications submitted to the Labor Ministry totaled 50,000 and the number of cases in which subsidies were provided was only 27,000. “This indicates that government procedures for cash handouts have failed to keep pace with the surge of bankruptcies and job losses resulting from the coronavirus recession,” Shii added.

In conclusion, Shii noted that the government in the second supplementary budget earmarked 10 trillion yen for contingency funds. Shii said, “The government act of drawing up the budget in which one third is occupied by reserve funds will undermine financial democracy which calls for parliamentary control on government spending. The JCP will grill the government on this point.”

Past related articles:
>Pushed by opposition parties, gov’t revises supplementary draft budget to strengthen anti-corona efforts [April 21, 202]
>Protect workers from unfair dismissals under coronavirus outbreak [April 10, 202]
>JCP proposes direct bailout of individuals affected financially by new coronavirus [March 27, 202]
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