TOKYO: The Japanese government is expected to raise monthly public medical insurance premiums by an average of about 500 yen per person in order to finance higher spending on child-rearing support, according to an outline of measures aimed at tackling the country’s declining birthrate.
The proposed measures include expanding the coverage of child allowances to include those attending high school and increasing the allowances for a third child and beyond in a family, according to the outline.
The government aims to secure 3 trillion yen per year in additional funds for the three-year period from fiscal 2024 to intensively implement such measures.
Of the total, around 1 trillion yen will be secured through raising public insurance premiums. The remaining 2 trillion yen will be raised through slashing social welfare spending and utilizing budgeted funds.
The government plans to issue stopgap bonds for about the first two years as any increase in public insurance premiums requires a law revision.
The country will set aside about 1.2 trillion yen to expand the child allowance program, according to the outline.
The maximum age to receive such money will be raised to 18, up from the current limit of junior high school age, with high school students to be given 10,000 yen per child every month.
For households with multiple children, the country will double the amount of child allowance to 30,000 yen per month for a third child and beyond from 3 years old until they graduate elementary school.
The government plans to remove income limits for such allowances. It plans to implement the new measures starting as early as fiscal 2024, which begins next April.
It will also boost support measures for households raising children, with the country poised to spend around 800 billion to 900 billion yen to improve child care services and about 700 billion yen on work style reform, including promotion of child care leave.