Yoon moves towards sustainable demographic growth

2024.05.10 14:43:01 | 2024.05.10 14:47:14

[Photo by Yonhap]이미지 확대

[Photo by Yonhap]

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol announced plans to appoint a new minister to deal with what the country is calling a national problem: low birth rates.

In his first press conference in two years since he was inaugurated, the president outlined the new ministry in charge of increasing the country’s birth rate on Thursday.

The decision is a response to the failures in the existing government body tasked with boosting the fertility rate. Critics say the Presidential Committee on Ageing Society and Population Policy has suffered from a lack of funds and power to push countermeasures to falling birth rates forward.

The committee needs cooperation at the inter-ministry level as the decline in birth rates is an issue of national importance. Other ministries, however, often came up with measures that did nothing to help to boost birth rates, with funds misallocated for tourism, university restructuring, and other irrelevant purposes.

In response to the government’s release of data suggesting the government has spent 280 trillion won ($204.9 billion) to date in order to boost birth rates, critics also say the data lacks credibility, as Korea is is almost at the bottom of a list of 38 OECD member states that tracks public spending on families in cash benefits as well as services for child education and households.

In a country with low birth rates, women face the exhausting task of balancing their careers and childcare, and parents struggle to pay soaring private education fees.

As part of the government’s effort to reverse the trend, the new minister should take a new approach to budget allocations so that all the resources are spent on child-related policies.

By Editorial Team

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