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HOME  > Past issues  > 2016 March 16 - 22  > Bill to increase financial support for single-parent families jointly submitted by 5 opposition parties
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2016 March 16 - 22 [POLITICS]

Bill to increase financial support for single-parent families jointly submitted by 5 opposition parties

March 18, 2016
The Japanese Communist, Democratic, Social Democratic, Japan Innovation, and People’s Life parties on March 17 submitted to the House of Representatives a bill to improve the childrearing allowance system for single-parent households.

Japan has the top single-parent household poverty rate (54%) among OECD member nations. This makes it difficult for Japanese children raised by single parents to go on to receive higher education.

The five opposition parties in the bill aim at providing support to children in single-parent families so that the children can have an opportunity to go to university and to increase financial support to single parents with two or more dependent children.

Pushed by public movements, the Abe government already introduced to this Diet session a bill to increase the monthly childrearing allowance for a second child from the current 5,000 yen to 10,000 yen and for third and subsequent children from 3,000 yen to 6,000 yen. However, the bill will only cover households which meet income limit requirements.

Meanwhile, the opposition-drafted bill will allow all second and subsequent children to receive a monthly allowance of 10,000 yen without condition.

At a press conference held after the submission of the bill, JCP Lower House member Takahashi Chizuko pointed out that although single-parents, especially single-mothers, normally work at least two jobs, they are still in the category of working poor. Noting that the government in its bill acknowledges the need for an increase in monthly allowances for second and subsequent children, Takahashi stressed the importance of the childrearing allowance system for single parents and expressed her determination to work to enact the opposition-submitted bill which has no income cutoff.

Past related articles:
> Majority of single-parent families living in poverty [July 16, 2015]
> Child poverty program is most pressing task in Japan [September 2, 2014]
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