Thursday, January 22, 2015

A 1980 note from a ministry's manager deprives single mothers of their welfare entitlements

An instruction issued by a manager of the welfare ministry in 1980 is preventing local governments from providing social welfare benefits to single mothers sharing a house with men, according to a recent media report. 
Tokyo Shinbum, a Tokyo-based daily, reported on Dec. 27, 2014 that Kunitachi City, Tokyo,suspended in November payment of child rearing allowances to a single mother sharing a house with a single man following the advise of the Tokyo Metropolitan government on the enforcement of a notice on de facto marriages issued in 1980 by a manager of then Ministry of Health and Welfare.
The Kunitachi City Council is opposed to this decision by the City government and the enforcement of the notice. In the resolution adopted on Dec. 18,the Council denounces it as irrational,lacking in pragmatic justification and detrimental to the welfare of children and demanding the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare,the Tokyo Metropolitan government and the City government that the  be rectified, says the report.
According to the newspaper article, the notice by a welfare ministry's manager says that a single mother and a man living in the same house with her should be regarded, in principle, as being in de facto marriage and other factors than living together do not have to be taken into consideration in determining whether they are in de facto marriage relations or not.
On the basis of this, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government has a standard to deny a single mother who shares a house with an unrelated man the entitlements to child rearing allowances unless she produces objective proofs that her household account is separate from the man's.
The Kunitachi City Council resolution however refers to some single mothers have been regarded as married to men with whom they share houses and denied the benefits even if they produce lease contracts, utility bills or other proofs. "I do not doubt that the single mother is just sharing a shouse with a man, but we cannot do anything about it," a Kunitachi city official in charge of the social welfare is quoted to comment on the case.
In Japan, such extra-legislative "notices" and "announcements" issued by central government officials are usually regarded as legitimate bases of administrative practices of local governments.?

シングル・マザー 男性と家をシェアすると子どもへの手当て打ち切り

東京都は「異性と住所が同じなら、同一世帯ではないことが客観的に証明されないと受給対象から外れる」としているが、国立市の決議案は、「賃貸借契約書や光 熱費の請求書などの客観的証明がある場合においても、同一住所に親族以外の異性がいることによって「事実婚」と見なされ、支給が停止されるケースが発生している。

No comments: