OSAKA — The Osaka Prefectural Government on Friday officially proposed a 10-year financial restructuring plan to alleviate financial problems that have worsened since the burst of the bubble economy in the early 1990s.
The local government has already issued prefectural bonds worth 3.5 trillion yen to cover tax revenue shortfalls, and the latest government plan, which focuses on a reduction in public servants and public school teachers, awaits approval by the prefectural assembly, which starts its session later this month.
Osaka Gov. “Knock” Yokoyama said in a press conference Thursday that the local government is responsible for the financial crisis because it failed to nurture leading businesses and take appropriate measures to raise revenues.
Yokoyama also said the prefecture will demand that the national government promote decentralization so local governments can receive a larger portion of tax revenues.
After the prefecture announced the draft of the plan at the end of July, about 680 people sent in their opinions to the government. Of the 680, about 160 addressed the salaries of prefectural officials, with many seeking a larger cut in their wages. About 145 others gave their opinions on reducing the number of prefectural officials and teachers.
According to the restructuring plan, to start next fiscal year, the prefecture will cut 2,200 of the current 16,400 administrative officials and lay off 4,800 of its 57,100 public school teachers. Other measures to reduce personnel expenses are also planned.
Additional restructuring steps include the suspension of some public construction projects, the reduction of subsidies for private schools and medical care for the elderly, and an increase in tuition for public high schools from 5,500 yen to 55,000 yen.
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