DPJ Policy Research Committee Chair
○The 2009 Budget plan decided by the government today consists of a simple
addition of all the vested interests in the ministries of Kasumigaseki, the
requirements of the ruling party with the election on their minds, and the
face-saving policies of Prime Minister Aso. No adjustments have been made
at all, resulting in a total amount exceeding 88 trillion yen. There is no
evidence of political leadership including from the prime minister himself
in the way the budget has been drawn up by merely adding the various
demands together, without making a concerted effort toward administrative
reforms or the eradication of wasteful spending. It is blatantly clear that
there is a political absence and a complete lack of ability to hold the
reins of the government.
○Simply by adding the demands together and indicating absolutely no future
vision or any strategic industrial policies, no significant results can be
expected from the budget. And it is intolerable to issue government bonds
totaling a staggering 33 trillion yen for the election ploys of the ruling
party and for Prime Minister to save face, and leaving it to the next
generation to bear the burden.
○In anyone's eyes, the government is in a shambles but it is still making
a farfetched claim of "maintaining the financial reform" platform. As for
"suppressing social insurance costs by 220 billion yen," even though the
actual amount suppressed is only 10%, the government still claims that it
has not changed its policy. The budget allocated for use other than
maintaining roads is a mere 60 billion yen, but the government claims that
the revenue set aside for road construction has now been moved into the
general account budget. PM Aso has confused the Japanese public with his
outlandish statements. With such a wide disparity between the principles
and actual situation in the first budget plan of the Aso regime, the public
cannot trust the government at all.
○In the "medium-term plan" announced today, Prime Minister clearly
indicated that the consumption tax rate would be increased in three years'
time. The reason why Mr. Aso is adamant about raising consumption tax is to
enhance the party foundation and differentiate it from the DPJ; it is not
intended for the good of the people. This being the case, there are no
concrete measures to eradicate the wasteful spending of taxes, nor are
there any concrete schemes on the reform and enhancement of social
insurance issues. With the statement regarding hiking the consumption tax
used as a political measure, the people's confidence in consumption tax
will diminish further, and both government finances and social insurance
are certain to experience a far more difficult situation.
○There is no way that a prime minister lacking any leadership or
organizational ability, who is fixated on raising the consumption tax in
order to hang on to his job, will gain the trust of the people by speaking
of things that are far removed from the real world. People's confidence in
the government will deteriorate with each passing day of Mr. Aso's stay in
office, which will lead Japan deeper into crisis. It is apparent that PM
Aso has no ability to hold the reins of the government, and the DPJ will do
its best to seek the earliest possible dissolution of the House of
Representatives to achieve an early end to this situation.