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HOME  > Past issues  > 2011 July 13 - 19  > Stop counting welfare recipients’ of borrowing of money to buy air-conditioners as income: JCP
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2011 July 13 - 19 [WELL-BEING]

Stop counting welfare recipients’ of borrowing of money to buy air-conditioners as income: JCP

July 15, 2011
Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Councilors Tamura Tomoko on July 14 in a House Welfare Committee meeting urged the government to not designate the money that welfare recipients borrowed for the purchase of an air-conditioner as income.

Tamura pointed out that even though it is hard to survive Japan’s extremely hot summer season without having air conditions, households receiving welfare assistance have financial difficulty in installing air-conditioners. She reported that if welfare benefit recipients obtain a loan from their local welfare council to buy an air-conditioner or other cooling device, the loan will be designated as income and their livelihood protection benefits will be reduced.

Citing the fact that the welfare ministry excludes from their income the loan that welfare recipients receive to buy heating appliances, Tamura said the loan for cooling appliances should be treated in the same manner.

Welfare Minister Hosokawa Ritsuo replied, “I understand that there is a growing need for air-conditioners as a way to prevent health damage arising from harsh summer conditions. We will consider revising our policy to exclude the loan for air-conditioners from the income designation.”

Tamura stressed that the ministry should decide on this before the end of summer.

Data submitted to Tamura by the Welfare Ministry show that 87.5% of ordinary families and 68.5% of families on welfare in 46 prefectures other than Hokkaido have air-conditioners.

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