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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 January 24 - 30  > Anti-poverty groups take to streets to oppose Abe’s plan to slash livelihood protection benefits
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2018 January 24 - 30 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Anti-poverty groups take to streets to oppose Abe’s plan to slash livelihood protection benefits

January 29, 2018
Anti-poverty groups on January 28 took to the streets in Tokyo’s Shinjuku Ward to oppose the Abe government’s plan to slash welfare benefit payments.

This action was organized by the youth group called AEQUITAS which combats the issues of poverty and economic inequalities and the non-profit organization Moyai which works to help the needy.

Members of AEQUITAS and Moyai as well as welfare recipients delivered speeches, calling for better social security programs. A recipient in her 30s said that the current program is so insufficient that she can barely survive.

AEQUITAS member Nara Miyuki stated that she grew up in a single-mother household and is now studying at university while working part time. She added that if her mother becomes unable to work, she will have to quit school. Nara said, “There are many people who live on the edge of subsistence and are likely to fall into poverty. Nevertheless, the government plans to further shrink welfare benefit payments, which is the key component of the social safety net. The government plan should be scrapped.”

Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Koike Akira, Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan deputy chief Nagatsuma Akira, and Liberal Party deputy chief Yamamoto Taro also took part in the action.

Koike said that the Abe government in its 2018 budget draft allocates 16 billion yen less for livelihood protection payments and 19.5 billion yen more for financial support for the U.S. military in Japan, including the so-called “sympathy budget”. Koike stated that Abe should become aware of the plights of struggling families. He underscored the need to increase people’s joint efforts to safeguard the constitutional right to live in dignity.

Past related articles:
> Drop in income gives rise to Engel's coefficient [January 19, 2018]
> Gov’t plan to cut welfare payments will threaten recipients’ right to live [January 10, 2018]
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