Korea’s budgetary increases under pandemic outweigh past 20-year total

2022.01.18 13:41:42 | 2022.01.18 13:42:06

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Frequent budget increases in South Korea during the last two years under Covid-19 have come to outweigh 20-year additions before 2020.

According to the Ministry of Economy and Finance on Monday, the Korean government has packaged 116.6 trillion won ($98.1 billion) extra budgets from 2020 – four times in total value of 66.8 trillion won in 2020 and twice in the scale of 49.8 trillion won in 2021.

When counting in the 14 trillion won currently being readied by the ruling party and government for legislative approval next week, the cumulative supplementary budgeting since virus outbreak would come to 130.6 trillion won.

The amount is larger than the total extra budgets of 123.9 trillion won created from 2000 to 2019.

Fiscal increases became frequent because the government opted for universal handout instead of selective aid during disaster period, timed with election season.

But the bill would fall on taxpayers. National liabilities stretched 400 trillion won to 1,064.4 trillion won under five-year term of President Moon Jae-in. Debt per each Korean would reach 20.8 million won this year.

Still the ruling party remains carefree. It is arguing to raise the first supplementary budget this year to minimum 20 trillion won.

By Chun Gyung-woon, Lee Ji-yong and Lee Ha-yeon

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