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Liberty Korea Party pledges expanded child care benefits

All News 11:31 April 13, 2017

SEOUL, April 13 (Yonhap) -- The conservative Liberty Korea Party unveiled a set of welfare pledges Thursday that focus on expanding subsidies for childbirths and child care.

The former ruling party announced the pledges ahead of the May 9 presidential election during which it will be represented by prosecutor-turned-politician Hong Joon-pyo.

Citing the country's fertility rate of 1.17 last year, which was the lowest among member nations of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the party said it will do everything it can to create the right conditions for childbirths and child rearing.

Plans include raising the maximum monthly salary of women on maternity leave from the current 1.5 million won (US$1,320) to 2 million won by 2020, and a 10 million-won allowance after the birth of a second child.

If elected, Hong plans to create the post of a senior presidential secretary for population policy to oversee efforts to boost the birthrate.

The party also promised to offer various housing and job benefits to young people, raise the basic pension of senior citizens and reduce the burden of their medical expenses, and increase financial and medical support for the disabled.

Most opinion surveys rank Hong a distant third behind two liberals, with an approval rating below 10 percent.

hague@yna.co.kr
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