On the afternoon of December 10, DPJ the Next Cabinet (NC) held a Cabinet meeting at party headquarters and agreed on the Economic Stimulus Related Bill that includes measures designed to stimulate employment.
At the start of the meeting, DPJ Next State Minister Yukio Hatoyama criticized the government for trying to end the year's Diet session without submitting the second supplementary budget which will fund additional economic countermeasures, saying that the Cabinet's plummeting approval rating is evidence of the woeful state of the LDP's handling of the Diet. As the already severe employment situation worsens on a daily basis, DPJ members, led by the Emergency Employment Countermeasures Headquarters, have been energetically engaged in various activities including visits to employers and active policy development. Hatoyama stated how important it is to show the public the efforts that the party is making. He also called on the Next Cabinet to draw up a manifesto that would convince the public that the DPJ can be entrusted with running the country. He called for further efforts by calling out “Gambari-masho”.
DPJ Next Minister of State for Children/Gender Equality Mieko Kamimoto then explained the (DPJ's) proposed "Child Allowance Bill". The Next Cabinet approved the Bill which would award a payment of 26,000 yen per child per month for families with children who have not yet graduated from junior high school.
DPJ Non-Regular Employment Measures Project Team Leader Ritsuo Hosokawa and Project Team Secretary General Masao Kobayashi explained the following 4 proposed emergency bills designed to address the deteriorating employment situation:
1) Bill to partially amend the Labor Contract Law (Bill to restrict job offer withdrawals), which would restrict the right of companies to withdraw definite job offers to students
2) Special measures bill related to the prevention of the termination of contracts for dispatch workers and other workers, which would also allow employment adjustment subsidies to be paid to companies for employing non-regular employees
3) Bill to partially amend the Employment Insurance Law, which would assist former dispatch workers and other workers searching for employment by providing them with housing and welfare support and provide a safety net and more secure employment by expanding the employment insurance system
4) Bill to partially amend the Labor Contract Law (Fixed-term contract adherence bill), which will clarify the rules governing the signing, renewal and termination of fixed-term labor contracts.
The Next Cabinet approved the bills (please refer to the related URL below).
DPJ Next Finance Minister Masaharu Nakagawa then explained the following 2 bills.
1) Bill to partially amend the Taxation Special Measures Law (Bill to abolish the Provisional Tax Rate and reduce the Underlying Tax Rate on Taxes Dedicated to Road-Related Projects), which is designed to stimulate domestic economic demand by lowering living costs and corporate costs through a 2.6 trillion yen reduction in the public tax burden
2) Bill to partially amend the Corporate Tax Law and other regulations (to reduce the Corporate Tax on small and medium-sized businesses), which would help create a more secure employment environment through supporting small and medium-sized businesses by reducing their corporate tax burden
These bills were also approved by the Next Cabinet.
After the NC meeting, DPJ Next Chief Cabinet Secretary Masayuki Naoshima (DPJ Policy Research Committee Chair) told the press that as the economic environment deteriorates rapidly, it is the responsibility of politicians to take swift action to support employment and assist small-and medium-sized businesses, areas of the economy which are suffering particular difficulties. He said that the DPJ intended to submit various bills before the end of the current Diet session in order to clarify its positions and stimulate vigorous political debate. The bills scheduled for submission are as follows:
(1) Child Allowance Bill
(2) Bill to abolish the Provisional Tax Rate and reduce the Underlying Tax Rate on Taxes Dedicated to Road-Related Projects
(3) Bill to prevent bullying of small and medium-sized businesses
(4) Financial assessment bill
(5) Bills to safeguard employment including regulations to restrict job offer withdrawals
(6) Bill to amend the Corporate Tax Law and other regulations to support small and medium-sized businesses
Finally, as debate continues over budget allocations for the next fiscal year, Hatoyama referred to hints by the government that they may begin to use the "buried treasures". He criticized the government's current plans to pay out 2 trillion yen of fixed amount subsidies saying that this is just a one-off measure. In contrast this with the approach of the DPJ which is to use the "buried treasures" to implement systematic reforms and generate new frameworks.
DPJ Emergency Employment Countermeasures