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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 May 22 - 28  > JCP publishes Upper House election platform seeking to restore hope in improving people’s livelihoods
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2019 May 22 - 28 [JCP]

JCP publishes Upper House election platform seeking to restore hope in improving people’s livelihoods

May 23, 2019

Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo and JCP Policy Commission Chair Kasai Akira on May 22 held a press conference in the Diet building and published the party’s platform for the July Upper House election under the slogan, “Establish politics that supports the household economy, eliminates poverty and social inequalities, and offers hope for the future”.

One of major pillars of the platform is to win the cancellation of the planned increase in the consumption tax rate to 10%. The other pillar is the three proposals for restoring hope in people’s livelihoods (see separate item). The proposals call for creating a society where everyone can live decently with an 8-hour work day, establishing social welfare services that will support people’s livelihoods, and building a society which ensures education and childrearing without financial anxieties.

At the press conference, Shii stressed, “If these proposals are implemented as a package, they will bring about positive economic effects equivalent to a positive impact of a 3% decrease in the consumption tax.”

Explaining that the package would cost 7.5 trillion yen to implement, Shii said that financial resources of 7.5 trillion yen can be secured if a fair share of taxes is imposed on large corporations and the rich.

Shii said that in contrast to the Abe government intending to force the people to bear heavier sales tax burdens in exchange for providing free childcare services, the JCP in its proposals presented ways to improve people’s living conditions, social welfare services, and public support for childrearing without depending on sales tax revenues.

Shii concluded that with this platform, the JCP will appeal to voters for their support in the coming election.

*****

Three proposals for restoring hope in people’s livelihoods

Create a society where everyone can live decently with 8-hour work day by realizing higher wages and shorter working hours

The national minimum hourly wage will be raised to 1,000 yen without delay followed by an additional increase of 500 yen. Overtime will be limited to up to "15 hours a week and 45 hours a month" by law. Non-regular workers will be given regular employment positions. Monthly wages of workers in the nursing-care and childcare industries will be increased by 50,000 yen.

Establish social services that will support people's livelihoods

No further increase in national healthcare insurance premiums will take place, and public funds of one trillion yen will be injected to drastically reduce the premium rate. Medical care for all preschool children will be free. The present formula, which automatically adjusts the amount of pension benefits based on a macroeconomic indexation, will be replaced by a new formula in order to not have to reduce the amount of pension benefits. An additional 5,000 yen a month or 60,000 yen a year will be provided to all low-income pensioners. The payment of nursing-care insurance premiums will be reduced for low-income earners. The current policy of cutting back on public assistance will come to an end, and an appropriate level of welfare payments will be restored. Welfare and medical care services for people with disabilities will be free.

Build a society where people can go to school and raise children without money worries

Tuition fees for universities and vocational schools will be halved without delay and will be eliminated by taking a step-by-step approach. A grant-type scholarship program will be created which will provide more than 30,000 yen a month to 700,000 students. All scholarship repayments will be interest-free. Compulsory education will be completely free. "Free childhood education and free daycare for preschool children" will take effect without depending on tax revenues from the consumption tax increase, and the number of authorized daycare facilities will be increased in order to reduce to zero the number of children on waiting lists to gain admission to daycare facilities.

Past related article:
> Shii in JCP 6th CC Plenum introduces 3 proposals as pressing tasks [May 13, 2019]


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