Providing a monthly child allowance of ¥26,000 for each child aged 15 or younger to all the child-rearing families was one of the primary campaign promises made by the Democratic Party of Japan in the August 2009 Lower House election and it began providing half the amount in fiscal 2010. The basic concept behind the universal child allowance was that society as a whole should help child-rearing families irrespective of their income levels.

But a child allowance bill passed by the Lower House on March 23 with the support of the DPJ, the Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito set an income cap on families eligible for the allowance. It is expected to be enacted Friday by the Upper House.

After the DPJ's defeat in the July 2010 Upper House election, the opposition forces gained control of the chamber. Both the LDP and Komeito have fiercely battled with the DPJ over the child allowance. The DPJ government has also had problems securing the funds to continue the universal allowance. Still, it is regrettable that an income cap was introduced.