A government panel tasked with reforming social security and the tax system in Japan proposes considering setting an income limit when providing allowances to families with children, a draft of its recommendations showed Tuesday.
The panel, chaired by Prime Minister Naoto Kan, notes that the fields of medical services, nursing care and child-rearing should be given priority over pensions in allocating tax revenue, according to the draft.
In providing child allowances, one of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan’s benchmark policies, the panel, which has heard expert opinions, urges considering setting a cap based on income and reviewing the current system of giving 13,000 yen a month per child aged under 15.
The panel also calls for a study into attaining a balance between providing child allowances and improving childcare services, such as properly maintained nursery centers, as well as proposes introducing coupons to be given out for childcare purposes.
The opposition bloc has been calling for imposing a limit based on income and diverting money toward reconstruction in the aftermath of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that hit northeastern Japan, which has a large proportion of elderly in its population.
Noting that improving social security would help disaster-hit regions recover, the panel proposes that more tax revenue should be used for the medical system for the elderly while suggesting that the ratio of medical expenses to be paid by elderly patients be increased.