March 23, 2006


Tax break for families with kids eyed (Japan Times, 3/24/06)

The government and ruling coalition, at the first meeting of a special committee charged with devising measures to halt the declining birthrate, agreed Thursday to study giving families with children a tax break, panel members said.

Many lawmakers from the ruling bloc -- the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito -- want the panel to look closely at the family tax break, the panel members said.

LDP Policy Research Council Chairman Hidenao Nakagawa said the committee should consider higher tax-break rates for families with low incomes and those with a lot of children.

Kuniko Inoguchi, minister in charge of dealing with the birthrate decline, told the meeting the public is strongly in favor of tax cuts to help families with kids.

It's absurd to think that in the richest nations in history people aren't having kids because of the cost.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 23, 2006 7:30 PM

Chum in the water for Duffy?

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at March 23, 2006 8:41 PM

My sister works in Tokyo and is married to a Japanese. His hometown is like a ghost town and my sister rarely if ever sees families with more than one child. She actually brought this up without being aware of the demographic trends around the world, so it must be pretty obvious.

Posted by: Pepys at March 23, 2006 9:46 PM

"It's absurd to think that in the richest nations in history people aren't having kids because of the cost." Not really. People can't have kids if they can't pay for their upbringing. The country, in terms of GDP, may be rich, but if you have high taxes, individual's disposable income is low. So some people just cannot afford to have kids.

Posted by: ic at March 24, 2006 1:37 AM

Driving out of my neighborhood this afternoon was like trying to navigate a school playground. Kids shooting baskets, riding bikes, playing hopskotch. 10 km/h seemed too fast. It's improving around here.

As a 12 year old daughter of some friends gushed a few months ago when her mother found she was pregnant with her sixth: "You can never have enough babies!"

My grandmother said she had to brush the snow that blew in through the cracks in the walls off my uncle's blanket when he was a baby. Didn't stop her from having kids.

Posted by: Randall Voth at March 24, 2006 5:15 AM

I don't know if the problem is money, as it is time or energy. My grandparents had about ten kids each while their offspring typically have two or three.

My aunts and uncles all live in separate homes which tends to put a lot more pressure on the mothers since they can't share childrearing responsibilities like the grandparents did with their brothers and sisters at the family home.

Posted by: Ali Choudhury at March 24, 2006 5:39 AM

It's certainly not time--we work considerably less hard to live in luxury than our anscestors did for subsistence.

Posted by: oj at March 24, 2006 8:18 AM


Bunk. We're the first generation where everyone has disposable income.

Posted by: oj at March 24, 2006 8:23 AM

Randall, why didn't gm try stuffing the cracks with straw or mud or something? I think she was funnin' ya or are you funnin' us?

Posted by: erp at March 24, 2006 10:46 AM