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Factbox: Economic policies of the main parties in Quebec election
(Reuters) - Following are key economic policies of the three main parties contesting the September 4 election in the Canadian province of Quebec.
Polls show the governing Liberals, who have been in power since 2003, are trailing the separatist Parti Quebecois and the newly founded, right-leaning Coalition for the Future of Quebec (CAQ).
THE LIBERAL PARTY
Premier Jean Charest's Liberals have made the economy and jobs the main themes of their campaign. Last year, the government announced an C$80 billion ($81 billion) plan to develop Quebec's mineral-rich, yet largely desolate north and many campaign promises are linked to the so-called Plan Nord.
The party is promising to:
* set up an investment and savings tool for individuals investing in the Plan Nord. The non-refundable tax credit would be 10 percent of the amount invested, up to a credit of C$500 for a C$5000 investment.
* create 250,000 jobs and slash the unemployment rate to 6 percent by 2017 from the current 7.6 percent. It says Plan Nord will create or maintain 20,000 jobs annually over the 25 years it will take to roll out.
* balance the budget by 2013-2014. To keep the budget in the black in 2014-2015, it will limit program-spending growth by 2 percent a year, instead of the previously planned 3 percent.
* take C$150 million a year from mining, oil and gas royalties and put it into a fund for debt servicing.
* create a C$1 billion fund, managed by economic development agency Investissement Quebec, to help Quebec businesses make foreign acquisitions.
* adopt measures allowing Quebec-based companies to assess take-over bids and give them more power to reject them
The Liberals put the cost of their measures at C$245 million a year over the next four-year period, for a total of C$1.223 billion by the end of the term.
THE PARTI QUEBECOIS
The Parti Quebecois wants to eventually hold a referendum to separate from the rest of Canada.
It is promising to:
* balance the budget by 2013-14, in part by limiting spending growth to 2.4 percent a year over the next five years.
* create two new income tax levels for individuals earning more than C$130,000 a year and will boost government revenues by hiking tax rates on capital gains and slashing an income tax credit on dividends.
* review the mandate of the Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec, the province's pension fund, so it can invest more in Quebec.
* set up a C$10 billion fund, to be administered by the Caisse, which would take stakes in Quebec companies and prevent foreign takeovers.
* maintain a freeze on some electricity rates. The Liberals plan to raise some prices between 2014 and 2018.
* impose a minimal royalty rate of 5 percent on the gross value of all mining output and slap a 30 percent royalty rate on any mining profits above 8 percent.
* invest 3 percent of provincial GDP in research and development. It wants the right to administer federal programs such as employment insurance and economic development, which are currently run from Ottawa.
The PQ says net spending would total C$992 million over the next five years, with C$2.39 billion in new spending and C$1.39 billion in additional revenue.
THE COALITION FOR THE FUTURE OF QUEBEC (CAQ)
The right-leaning CAQ has never contested an election. It wants to put all talk of independence on hold for a decade so it can focus on the economy.
The party is promising to:
* balance the budget by 2013-2014, in part by slashing government expenses. It says it will cut 7,000 public service jobs, including 4000 at state-owned power company Hydro-Quebec, and will cut spending by save a total of C$2.1 billion over five years.
* allocate C$13.2 billion dollars to debt servicing over the term of its first mandate. The CAQ says all mining, gas and oil royalties would go to servicing the debt.
* increase tax on real estate profits for secondary residences and cut income tax credits on the profit from share sales.
* create a C$5 billion natural resources fund that would take minority stakes in mining projects. The fund would be administered by the Caisse
* impose a moratorium on shale gas exploration and ban asbestos exports. (Reporting by Rita Devlin Maurier; Editing by Leslie Gevirtz)
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