JCP demands FY 2003 budget be recompiled to help improve living conditions

The Japanese Communist Party's parliamentary group has published its proposal for a recompiled government budget that would reduce people's financial burdens through cutting wasteful expenditures and canceling the plan to force working people to pay higher tax rates.

In explaining the proposal at a news conference on February 20 in the Diet, JCP Policy Commission Chair Fudesaka Hideyo (Upper House member) said, "We are proposing minimal changes within the budget proposed by the government."

Some of the proposed changes include the following:

- Cancel the planned increase in working people's share of burden for medical costs and the health insurance premiums;

- Stop forcing people to pay higher premiums for the old age pension scheme, nursing care insurance, and unemployment insurance;

- Give up the plan to raise the indirect tax rates for low-malt beer, wine, and cigarettes;

- Increase funding for measures to help develop small businesses and create jobs and improve social welfare and education.

The JCP says that about 3.6 trillion yen needed for these measures can be appropriated through eliminating wasteful public works projects (1.1 trillion yen), cutting military expenditure (0.5 trillion yen), and reducing other unnecessary measures, including subsidies for political parties. (end)

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