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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 June 3 - 9  > JCP Shiokawa calls for lowering 10-trillion-yen reserves in supplementary budget
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2020 June 3 - 9 [POLITICS]

JCP Shiokawa calls for lowering 10-trillion-yen reserves in supplementary budget

June 4, 2020

Opposition parties, including the Japanese Communist Party, on June 3 agreed to urge the government to cut down on the use of the 10-trillion-yen reserve in the second supplementary budget because allowing such a huge pool of funds to be used for any purpose without Diet deliberation goes counter to financial democracy calling for careful monitoring by the Diet over the government use of taxpayers’ money.

Later on the day at a House of Representatives Cabinet Committee meeting, in line with this agreement, JCP lawmaker Shiokawa Tetsuya demanded cuts in tax money of 10 trillion yen set aside as reserve funds in the proposed supplementary budget plan.

Shiokawa referred to the fact that even in the 2009 budget compiled to deal with the economic crisis triggered by the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers and in the 2011 budget designed to cope with the aftermath of the 3.11 disaster, the amount of reserve funds was one trillion yen and 800 billion yen. He criticized the size of reserves this time as unreasonably huge.

The JCP lawmaker cited Article 83 of the Constitution stipulating, “The power to administer national finances shall be exercised as the Diet shall determine.” He said, “Giving a carte blanche to the government regarding the use of 10 trillion yen in taxpayers’ money in the form of reserve funds is totally unacceptable.”

Shiokawa stressed that the postwar Constitution requires democratic control by the Diet over public finances. Explaining the reason, he said that under the prewar Meiji Constitution, the Diet had no power to determine the state budget and thus the government overissued national bonds and caused devastating damage to the nation’s economy and people’s livelihoods.

The problem with the use of reserve funds, Shiokawa pointed out, is that it is impossible for the Diet to check on the government’s potential misuse of tax revenues in advance. He said that the issue of the 10-trillion-yen pool of funds represents the Abe administration’s intent to use tax money at its own discretion without facing any grilling by opposition parties. He went on to say that if the need for large scale spending arises, the Cabinet should call on the Diet to propose a supplementary budget plan.

Past related article:
> Shii comments on gov’t-proposed 2nd supplementary budget [May 29, 2020]
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