Page last updated at 23:06 GMT, Monday, 7 July 2008 00:06 UK

US candidates spar over economy

John McCain and Barack Obama
Mr McCain (L) said Mr Obama's health plan would halt job growth

US presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama have laid out rival economic plans as they attempt to woo voters on the campaign trail.

Mr McCain, the Republican contender, said that Democratic rival Barack Obama wanted voters to pay more taxes.

Mr Obama accused Mr McCain of offering a plan that would benefit only big corporations and multi-millionaires.

The comments came as his team said that his convention speech this summer will be given in a 76,000 capacity stadium.

Slow economy

The two candidates are both focusing their campaigns on economic issues this week.

Mr McCain has been in Denver, where he launched his "Jobs for America" plan.

Unveiling his proposals, the Arizona senator accepted that the economy was "slowing", and accused Mr Obama of favouring policies that would be economically harmful.

[Mr McCain's] policies would actually add more than $2 or $3 trillion to the national debt over the next decade
Barack Obama

"If you believe you should pay more taxes... Senator Obama is your man," he said

"I will cut them where I can."

Mr McCain called for a cut in estate tax and an increase in the tax deduction Americans with children receive, as well as for an expansion in free trade agreements and a review of government spending.

And he said that Mr Obama's plan to oblige employers to provide healthcare schemes for employees would stifle small businesses and halt job growth.

Mr Obama had planned to outline his economic plan in North Carolina, but after his plane made an unscheduled landing because of a malfunction, he was forced to deliver his remarks in St Louis, Missouri.

He said that Mr McCain's proposals were "very much the same as those we have seen from the Bush Administration", and that his rival's tax-cut plans would "add more than $2 or $3 trillion to the national debt over the next decade and weaken our economy even further".

And he pledged to introduce a stimulus package to help Americans struggling with current economic conditions, on top of "a middle-class tax cut that will provide $1,000 of relief to 95% of workers and their families", funded by closing down "corporate loopholes and tax havens".

As Mr Obama prepared to unveil his economic plan, his campaign team revealed that the last night of this summer's Democratic National Convention, when the Illinois senator is set to make his speech accepting the Democratic presidential nomination, will be staged at a 76,000 capacity sports stadium.

The first three days of the Convention will be held as planned at a Denver convention centre, but the finale will be moved to the Invesco Field at Mile High Stadium, home to the Denver Broncos American Football team.

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