Keidanren to Seek Tax Use for Raising Birthrate

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Keidanren Kaikan building

Tokyo —The Japan Business Federation, or Keidanren, will urge the government to consider using tax as an option when taking measures to address the country’s declining birthrate, Jiji Press learned Friday.

Keidanren has worked out a draft proposal on planned measures to combat the falling birthrate that will be launched by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s administration.

In the draft, the powerful business group calls for “the best mix” of financial resources including taxation, social insurance premiums and government bonds, together with spending reforms and other measures.

Keidanren says the government should not rely heavily on social insurance premiums to cover related costs, because their hike would lead to an increase in payments by businesses.

Keidanren will formalize the proposal at a meeting of senior officials next week and submit it to Masanobu Ogura, minister in charge of child-related policies.

It hopes that the proposal will be reflected in a draft outline of measures to fight the falling birthrate to be released by the government this month and a policy package to be presented by June.

Keidanren expects “an increase of at least several trillion yen” in new financial resources for measures to tackle the falling birthrate, according to the draft proposal.

Restricting ways to secure funds for such measures to raising social insurance premium rates for the working-age population and corporations alone “would leave disposable incomes suppressed, the effects of pay increases reduced and the sense of security in life planning hurt,” the proposal said.

The draft says the government should create an environment to facilitate higher-quality employment, structural pay increases, conversion of fixed-term workers into regular employees and promotion of housework and child care by men.