■TATEIWA Shin’ya, MURAKAMI Shinji, HASHIGUCHI Shoji September 10, 2009 Repairing the Tax, Seidosha, 350p. 2310yen
Part 1 "Repairing the Axis Immediately: Using Tax for Distribution"
Chapter 2 What has Happened?
11 Income Security and Social Services Are not Different Things
It might be said that redistribution of tax is accepted as a function of taxes but social services are not its subject. I disagree with this opinion. Misinterpretations on this matter also define events that have occurred recently. I have mentioned several times that income security and social services are not different things (Tateiwa (2008a) (2008b) etc.). Here, let me explain a little more about this.
Poverty should be addressed. It is natural to guarantee the “minimum.” Those who do not have money do not. Therefore, it is natural to fetch funds from the place where funds exist. However, it is said that as medical services and welfare are coping with risks that equally occur among individuals, expenses for such purposes should be managed by systems in which each individual pays an equal premium.
However, an individual simply needs things for living his/her own life. The needs include medical services and care. Some individuals do not need these services incidentally, while others do. The lives of individuals who receive the additional needs if fulfilled sufficiently, are equivalent to that of those who do not need such services. Or, the compatible life level is eventually less attainable due to the limitations of medical services and so on. If so, the costs for their additional needs can be obtained by the same reason as a certain amount of income security can be. For these reasons, it is basically allowed that expenses that have been spent or will be spent for these services are included and provided to individuals.
In reality, however, these have been separately handled. There are several reasons for this based on circumstances where various systems have been established differently. In terms of systems of medical and social welfare services, the systems of their services were established without having a system to provide the expenses to users. And providers of the services, in turn, gain the funds. It is argued whether this approach should be continued or users receive funds. The latter has also reasonability to some extent and if so, the provision of life costs can be managed in a unified system.
In terms of income security, ―― the total amount summed up from various cost items is provided in social security services in Japan, ―― every area of the receiver’s life is managed by the funds. On the other hand, concerning social services, use of the expenses are strictly defined. Thus, use of the funds provided is flexible in the former case, but not in the latter. It is not so impossible to understand the claim that the total funds including costs for medical and care services can be used freely for different purposes. However, it might certainly be reasonable to provide funds for specific usages of medical or care services, while other expense items are controlled by individuals. Even in this case, ―― actually there are some similar systems ―― costs relating to medical and care services in addition to other basic costs of living can be provided in an integrated manner.
However, these are now separately provided. I cannot state that these should not be separated definitely. Here, I would like to confirm not the method of provision but the fact that there are no fundamental differences between the costs for medical and care services, and cost of living. Therefore, it lacks rationality that income (leftovers as a result of subtraction of costs for medical and care services that are basically not different）is covered by the structure of “redistribution,” while welfare and medical services（that are separately handled）are dealt within different frameworks. In relation to the differences in physical abilities including intellectual types, those who are not able to gain many resources from our social markets overlap those who need further costs for living in many circumstances. Basically more tax can be taken from those who gain more from the market under the regulations of possession in our societies. Then funds are redistributed in accordance with the individuals’ needs which include medical and welfare services. It is that simple.
■TATEIWA Shin'ya May 27, 2010 "Making Income Tax More Progressive: Discussing what Kind of Society we should Aim to Create," Asahi Shimbun