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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 September 12 - 18  > Support group will call on 10K welfare recipients to demand fair public assistance payments
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2018 September 12 - 18 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Support group will call on 10K welfare recipients to demand fair public assistance payments

September 15, 2018

The Abe government will start to cut its public assistance payments in stages to 5% in October. The total amount of the reduction will be 21 billion yen a year, affecting almost 70% of households on welfare. The additional living support allowance paid to single-mother households and to children in welfare households will accordingly decrease, resulting in larger cuts for poorer households with more children.

In response to this decision, a group consisting of people on welfare and anti-poverty organizations on September 14 held a press conference in the Health and Welfare Ministry building to announce their "campaign to file a request for review" calling on all people receiving public financial support to seek their rightfully entitled benefits. The group said it aims to have as many as 10,000 complainants.

The filing of an application for administrative review is the right given to the general public if they have an objection to any administrative decision.

Lawyer Bito Hiroki pointed out that it is wrong in the first place for the government to lower its public assistance standards to the level of the poorest of the poor. Bito said, "The standards of public assistance are closely linked to pension payments, minimum wages, and school expense subsidies," indicating that other welfare payments could also be trimmed according to the lowered public assistance standards.

A 49-year-old Tokyo man living on welfare benefits calls himself "a homeless guy with a home". He said he does not use the air-conditioner though he has one, washes himself in a basin of cold water to save money on gas, and eats once or twice a day. "I just eat, sleep, and take a walk around the neighborhood every day to save money," he said with a sigh.

Past related articles:
> 'Household separation' policy in Japan's public assistance hampers children from going on to higher education [June 27, 2018]
> Poverty among elderly pushes up number of welfare families [April 4, 2018]
> Gov’t plan to cut welfare payments will threaten recipients’ right to live [January 10, 2018]
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