Okojo comments

Posted in: It’s rational for them, but it discourages work. It’s basically a subsidy for housewives. See in context

No, this is not a subsidy for part-time workers. There are a number of benefits for certain wives who earn under the two earning bags thresholds which do not extend to regular part-time workers, notably single parents.

One of the biggest subsidies is the pension subsidy. Housewives with husbands who work as regular employees who earn nothing or under the threshold have their pension fees waived. Now, if your husband is self-employed or also a part-time worker, or if you earn under the threshold but do not have a husband, you have to pay that pension. This means that many housewives who never pay into the system or pay for only a few years has a higher pension than those who have paid in for the full 40 years.

Also, husbands can write their wives who earn under the threshold off of their tax. This means that not only do we not collect income tax from these housewives, we also do not collect it from their husbands.

This has other effects. Let's look at two families: the A family and the B family. Both parents earn a total of ¥5million a year, and have 2 children of kindergarten age. A Family: husband earns ¥4 million, wife earns ¥1million at a part-time job. B Family: husband and wife both work fulltime and earn ¥2.5million a year.

The taxes paid by BFamily are much higher than that of A Family, because B Family can't write off unemployed adults.

Now, the municipality offers a subsidy for children attending kindergarten. A Family and B Family both have children attending the same kindergarten. However, this subsidy is means tested. You would think that means tested means total salary, right? But in Japan it means they check how much tax you pay in total. Since A Family's wife pays nothing and her husband's are greatly reduced since he can write her off, they are eligible for a much higher subsidy than B Family, despite the fact that they have the same total income.

There are many other was in which the housewife subsidy has adversely affected Japan. The major one is it has contributed to the rise of freeters.

Housewives are extremely attractive to employers because they will never ask for raises in case they go over the threshold and their pension and health are subsidized by the government so the employer does not have to pay their half. If you had a choice between hiring 2 housewives and 1 regular employee for the same unskilled job, who would you choose? The two that are subsidized or the one that is not? This is a major reason for underemployment and the rise in the working poor, as people have to cobble two or three jobs together to compete with subsidized housewives.

A system which actually taxed people fairly on he basis of income rather than family status would not only be better for the unfairly taxed families with fulltime working parents, but also the unmarried (especially widow/ers and other single parents), and especially for Japan's economy. Let's say conservatively that there are 10 million subsidized housewives in Japan. Just making them pay their own pension would bring in huge amounts for the debt-ridden government.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Tokyo gov't issues influenza epidemic alert See in context

People worry about Ebola reaching Japan but don't realize that influenza kills more people in Japan every year than Ebola has ever killed. The flu shot is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your elderly or newborn neighbours.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Sagawa Express to hire 10,000 housewives as part-time staff See in context

This is awful.

Why can't they hire unsubsidized workers? These workers will pay no tax, and take away work from the other workers. Abe needs to get away from subsidizing housewives. The company wins because they don't have to pay for half of the pension or health care, because the taxpayers are doing it for them. The taxpayers lose, as do the full-time working mothers of whose children go to the same schools as the children of these housewives, who will now get to hear "we all work, so you have to come to fold flowers in the middle of the working day or you don't love your children as much as we do."

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: Gov't calls on Tokyo council to clean itself up after sexist jeers See in context

The word is not assemblywoman. She is a 議員 in Japanese, this does not denote her gender, so why would we add sexism to the English translation.

She is a Tokyo Metropolitan Councillor or a member of the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly. Same as her male colleagues. C'mon Japan Today, it's the 21st century.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Posted in: Tokyo assemblywoman heckled on why she isn't married or having children See in context

This behaviour is unacceptable. If the politicians who did this were so proud of their remarks, they should put their name to them.

But, Japan Today, you are contributing to the problem as well. "Assemblywoman" really?!?

It's Municipal Councillor or Member of the Municipal Assembly. The Japanese makes no distinction as to the gender of the Municipal Councillor, why should the sexism be added in when translated to English?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

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