Business

Keidanren urges caution on using workers' insurance funds to aid Japan's 'ice age generation'

JIJI

The Japan Business Federation, or Keidanren, on Tuesday called on the government to cautiously study its idea of using reserve funds under the employment insurance system for the purpose of assisting people in the employment “ice age generation.”

The push is part of Keidanren’s proposals related to the government’s plan to enact law revisions to overhaul the employment insurance system during next year’s regular session of the Diet.

The government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe included job-finding aid for people in the ice age generation, or those in their mid-30s to mid-40s, as a priority issue in its new basic economic and fiscal policy guidelines compiled in June.

The government is considering using funds set aside for two vocational skill development projects under the insurance system for covering part of job training costs and other support programs for the ice age generation.

The government should try to ensure that the plan does not deviate from the employment insurance system’s original function as a safety net by examining the results of similar existing projects and clarifying its policy goals, Keidanren said, warning the administration to use caution when dipping into the reserve funds.

The federation also said that planned extensions of provisional measures to lower the employment insurance premium rate and state contributions to the insurance system should be limited to a maximum of two years until fiscal 2021 in order to ensure financial stability. The government is considering extending the measures, originally slated to end in fiscal 2019.

Keidanren pointed out that if the policy is continued in and after fiscal 2020 the balance of funds in fiscal 2021 would fall below a figure that needs to be cleared to ensure sufficient financial resources remain.

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