Japan considers cash handouts for children in low-income families

“困窮”子育て世帯に5万円給付へ・・・財源は“予備費”か“補正”自公に溝

Japan Times -- Apr 21
The government is considering a Y50,000 ($390) cash handout program to help low-income households with children as part of its broader economic package to cushion the blow from rising prices, sources with knowledge of the plan said Wednesday.

The envisaged program will provide Y50,000 for a child aged 18 or younger from a single-parent family or a household that has been exempt from residential taxes due to low income, according to the sources. Around ¥200 billion will be funneled from reserve funds in the state budget for the current business year from April.

Separately, the government is also weighing expanding the already implemented Y100,000 cash handout program for struggling households, the sources said.

The Y100,000 handouts are currently disbursed to households that were exempt from residential tax payments during fiscal 2021. The government is considering also giving Y100,000 to those who were not eligible for the relief program but fit its targeting criteria after the end of fiscal 2021 on March 31, the sources said.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is expected to unveil details of the economic package possibly next week amid growing concern about the negative impact of rising energy and food prices on households at a time of an anemic economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The envisaged plans could be taken by critics and opposition lawmakers as a cash splurge ahead of the House of Councillors election, expected in July.

モノの値段が上がり続けるなか、岸田総理は「緊急対策」の一つとして、生活に困っている子育て世帯を対象に、新たに子ども1人あたり5万円を給付する方針を固めました。 このなかで議論となっているのが、給付するお金を、どう確保するかということです。 松野官房長官:「総理から予備費を活用した迅速な対応を優先するとの指示をいただいた。政府としては、この方針に沿って検討を進めているところ」 予備費とは、言うなれば、すでに政府の財布の中に入っているお金で、今年度は5.5兆円が確保されています。使い道は、国会の承認を得ずに決めることができ、政府や自民党は、今あるお金の範囲内で対応すればよいという考えです。 - ANNnewsCH