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(2nd LD) Moon promises cash, more jobs for elderly

All News 17:25 April 18, 2017

(ATTN: RESENDS paras 2-4 to clarify the monthly allowance will be offered to 70 percent of the elderly as Moon and his party retracted earlier proposal to provide benefits to all elders; ADDS remarks from Moon)

SEOUL, April 18 (Yonhap) -- Moon Jae-in, the presidential candidate of the liberal Democratic Party, vowed Tuesday to provide additional support for the elderly that will include increased monthly allowances and more jobs for people who are past the retirement age but still need to work.

Moon said he will, if elected, provide 300,000 won (US$263) in a monthly allowance to people aged 65 years or older.

It will mark a great increase from the 100,000 to 200,000 won a month currently offered to the elderly in the lower 70 percent of the income bracket.

The ratio of recipients will be maintained at the current level as the Democratic Party withdrew its earlier revision to offer the monthly benefits to everyone who meets the age requirement.

"Currently, only about 40 percent of the elderly actually receive all 200,000 won in monthly pension due to various reductions. I will give 300,000 won to every elder (in the lower 70 percent of the income bracket) without any deductions," the 64-year-old presidential hopeful said while speaking to a group of elderly citizens and supporters in the southwestern city of Jeonju.

Kim Jung-sook (R), the wife of presidential candidate Moon Jae-in, serves food to the elderly in Gwangju on April 14, 2017. (Yonhap)

The liberal candidate's nine-point policy pledge for the elderly included additional jobs with increased wages for the elderly.

Moon said he will double the monthly wage for public jobs reserved for the elderly as part of a social welfare program to 400,000 won a month from the current 200,000 won.

The presidential front-runner earlier said he would double the number of such jobs to 800,000 from the current 430,000.

Moon said his government will also enhance health care for the growing elderly population who are expected to account for 14 percent of the country's 51 million population at the end of this year.

Currently, about 700,000, or one in every 10, people aged 65 years or older suffer from dementia, he noted.

Presidential front-runner Moon Jae-in gives a thumbs up while staging an election campaign in the southwestern city of Jeonju, located 230 kilometers from Seoul, on April 18, 2017. (Yonhap)

Moon promised to extend health care benefits to those suffering from the disorder and also put a ceiling on out-of-pocket payments, which he said will greatly reduce the cost of patients and their families.

The government will also lower the personal cost of dentures and dental implants for the elderly by nearly half, Moon said.

For those who live in remote or rural areas without easy access to public transportation, the presidential hopeful promised to introduce new government-backed taxi services that will charge the elderly only 100 won, or about 10 cents, per trip.

bdk@yna.co.kr
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