Okada nudges Diet to take wage cuts

Kyodo

Deputy Prime Minister Katsuya Okada said Sunday that lawmakers should take bigger pay cuts than civil servants are facing under new legislation, nudging politicians to an active part in reforms.

On a TV talk show aired by NHK, Okada touched on ad hoc legislation proposed in the Diet that would chop government workers’ salaries by an average of 7.8 percent through fiscal 2013.

“When cutting the salaries of government employees by around 8 percent, lawmakers should implement cuts (in theirs) that are greater than that,” he said, adding that subsidies to political parties should also be game.

As for an electoral reform proposal to reduce the size of the House of Representatives, Okada urged more study on the subject, given the timing.

“It is impossible to undertake radical reform before the next election,” Okada said. “Discussions should be conducted on how we can reduce the quota on the basis of keeping the existing institution.”