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TOKYO, Aug 11 (Reuters) - Japan's opposition Democratic Party on Tuesday unveiled changes to its campaign platform ahead of an Aug. 30 election, including a clarification of its economic growth policy and a softening of its stance on free-trade deals.
A Democratic Party victory would end more than half a century of almost unbroken rule of Prime Minister Taro Aso's Liberal Democratic Party and raise the chance of breaking a deadlock in parliament.
Below is an outline of major economic policies in the platform, including the new additions, marked with asterisks.
ECONOMIC GROWTH STRATEGY
-- Pay out 26,000 yen per month to families per child in full from April 2011.
-- Make public high schools free of charge.
-- Introduce income support for farmers in full from April 2011.
-- Abolish a decades-old surcharge of about 25 yen per litre on gasoline and other car-related taxes to achieve 2.5 trillion yen ($26 billion) in tax cuts.
-- Gradually scrap highway tolls.
**Increase household disposable income by these means, expand consumption and thus change the Japanese economy to one in which growth is led by domestic demand; realise stable economic growth.
** Support IT, biotechnology, environment related businesses as growth sectors, along with agriculture.
IMPLEMENT POLICIES AS FUNDS FOUND
-- Cut wasteful spending by such means as halting public works projects and reducing government personnel costs.
-- Gradually implement policies at the cost of 7.1 trillion yen in the first year starting from next April, rising to 16.8 trillion yen in the fourth year.
EMPLOYMENT AND ECONOMY
-- Bring down the corporate tax rate for small- and mid-sized firms to 11 percent from the current 18 percent.
-- Establish a nationwide minimum wage of 800 yen and aim at increasing that to 1,000 yen per hour.
-- Ban in general the dispatch of temp workers to manufacturers and expand permanent employment.
-- Cut greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2020 and by more than 60 percent by 2050. (For related story, click [ID:nT149274])
-- Create a domestic emissions trading market, with compulsory volume caps on emitters and consider introducing a climate tax.
-- Introduce a "feed-in" tariff for any type of renewable energy supply, under which power companies pay an above-market rate for every unit of such types of power, and boost renewable energy sources to about 10 percent of primary energy supply by 2020.
FREE TRADE DEALS
** Promote negotiations on a free trade deal without hurting stable food supply and domestic agriculture.
** Aim at free trade agreements with various Asia-Pacific countries and actively promote negotiations without hurting stable food supply and domestic agriculture.
PENSIONS, MEDICAL CARE
-- Focus on recovering missing pension records for the first two years starting next April.
-- Standardise the pension system with a minimum pension allowance of 70,000 yen per month.
-- Reject a pledge to cut annual increases in welfare spending by 220 billion yen, which the government also abandoned last month. (Reporting by Yoko Kubota; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani)
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