Korean fin min puts foot down on renewed talk on universal relief handout

2021.07.13 15:37:57

[Photo by Yonhap]이미지 확대

[Photo by Yonhap]

South Korea’s finance minister reiterated opposition to the idea of offering universal handout in Covid-19 relief funds after chiefs of rivaling parties made a verbal agreement to tweak the program during parliamentary review.

“I don’t agree,” said the country’s finance minister and deputy Prime Minister Hong Nam-ki, referring to the agreement between the ruling Democratic Party leader Song Young-gil and main opposition People Power Party’s Lee Jun-seok on the universal relief handout financed by the second supplementary budget.

Hong claimed budget operation must not be guided by political decisions.

Last month, the government proposed a 33 trillion won ($29 billion) extra budget to give Covid-19 relief packages to people in the lower 80 percent income group.

The ruling party floor leader Kim Gi-hyeon clarified that two rival parties haven’t agreed on universal relief handouts, and the ruling party will maintain its position for selective payouts when reviewing the extra budget proposal.

Hong also pledged a “responsible support” for small merchants hit hard by the country’s business restriction rules.

Regarding the plan to set aside 1.1 trillion won for credit card cash-back reward, Hong stressed that the reward program is necessary to prop up the domestic economy, although now it is not the time to boost consumption as the country has strengthened social distancing measures on soaring virus cases.

By Pulse

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