Panel OKs childbirth allowance hike to ¥500,000

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry / The Environment Ministry. In Central Gov’t Bldg. No.5, Chiyoda ward, Tokyo

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — A subcommittee of a health ministry panel broadly approved a plan on Thursday to raise from next April the childbirth allowances per baby to a uniform ¥500,000 from ¥420,000 in principle at present.

The plan is included in a draft package of health insurance reform steps aimed at enhancing support for child-rearing households and dealing with ballooning medical expenses caused by the aging population.

The government will reflect the measures in its draft budget for fiscal 2023, which starts in April, and submit bills to revise relevant legislation to next year’s regular session of the Diet slated to start in January.

Through the hike, the ministry aims to help reduce child-rearing families’ financial burdens as costs of giving birth have been rising in recent years. In order to secure financial resources, the ministry plans to introduce in fiscal 2024 a system to have people aged 75 or over shoulder 7% of the costs.

Also in the draft package approved by the subgroup of the Social Security Council, which advises the health minister, is a plan to raise the upper limit on annual health insurance premium payments by people aged 75 or over earning about ¥10 million a year to ¥800,000 from ¥660,000 over two years from fiscal 2024.

Premiums will be raised also for elderly people in the same age bracket who receive over ¥1.53 million in pensions annually.