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Moon's job committee listens to voices of SMEs ahead of raising minimum wage

All Headlines 19:36 June 08, 2017

SEOUL, June 8 (Yonhap) -- The vice chief of the presidential committee on job creation said Thursday improving working conditions for low-income laborers should not take place in a way that would burden small businesses.

Lee Yong-sup, vice chairman of the Presidential Committee on Job Creation, made the remarks during a meeting with business lobbies representing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), such as the Korea Federation of Micro Enterprise, at the government complex in Seoul.

The meeting was largely aimed at listening to possible difficulties that small businesses may experience following a move to raise the minimum wage and reduce working hours, which are two pillars of President Moon Jae-in's labor and economic policy. Moon has promised to increase the minimum wage to 10,000 won (US$8.93) an hour before his five-year term ends in May 2022.

"Improving the working conditions of the low-income laborers is the spirit of our time, but small businesses should not suffer due to it," he said, adding the government is seeking ways to solve the issue.

"We are reviewing various measures, such as reducing credit card fees, lowering the cap on rent or implementing educational and medical tax deductions for small business operators," he said.

"The Moon Jae-in administration is good at communicating," Lee said. "We will meet with any organizations that want to discuss the job issue and actively reflect their voices to our policies."

The presidential committee is headed by the president himself, apparently highlighting his emphasis on job creation.

Lee Yong-sup (L), vice chairman of the presidential committee on job creation, speaks during a meeting with business lobbies representing small and medium-sized enterprises at the government complex in Seoul on June 8, 2017. (Yonhap)

scaaet@yna.co.kr
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