The Komeito was out in force today trying to see what things were bothering potential voters. The Komeito asked the following 5 questions to passers by and requested them to place stickers against only one. Such is the level of data collection even kids were asked to put stickers. Feeling out future voters? Hardly. Smacked of garbage in, garbage out data collection.
1: Cut politicians salaries 20%
2: Minimum wage hike to 1000 yen/hour
3. Free high school and a cut in waiting lists for nurseries
4. Easier access to cancer screens and health tests
5. Establishment of more mobile phone charging stations
On point 1. Cutting salaries has a nice ring to it. Most senior politicians in Japan earn around $250,000. Cutting salaries would likely drive up other means of squeezing the corporate teat. One wonders if salaries were higher that more savvy people run for office as the opportunity cost is lowered
Point 2. The Japanese minimum wage is paltry 823yen/hr in 2017 up from 796 yen in 2016. The bigger concern for the Labour market is the long term trend to part time/contract and casual workers as a percentage of the workforce. Raising the minimum wage won’t solve for much. People can’t feel confident in their future if they’re aren’t secure in the job market. Even in Europe the problem is the same.
Point 3. The Abe government already has plans to build 800,000 extra daycare places by 2019. The problem isn’t in the number of schools but getting enough qualified Day-carers. Abe has raised the subsidies to secure more carers.
point 4: much of the health checks for cancer are run at the local level.
Point 5: if their 5th question is talking of mobile phone charging points the platform is running out of steam. Why not discuss deficit reduction, taxation or ways to revitalize small business. Is it any wonder the LDP won’t fear Komeito’s powerful platform. #makekomeitogreatagain ?