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(2nd LD) Gov't to allocate over 7 tln won to supplementary budget; 'tailored' cash handouts planned

All News 16:41 September 06, 2020

(ATTN: INCORPORATES story slugged (URGENT) extra budgets-size; UPDATES lead paras with extra budget size, other meeting results; CHANGES headline)
By Lee Chi-dong

SEOUL, Sept. 6 (Yonhap) -- The government and the ruling party agreed Sunday to formulate an additional supplementary budget worth more than 7 trillion won (US$5.9 billion) to fund "tailored" state support for those hit especially hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, a party official said.

Officials of the government, the Democratic Party and the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae reached the agreement after holding a meeting at the residence of Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun, the party's chief spokesman Choi In-ho told reporters.

The envisioned fourth extra budget of the year will amount to between 7-8 trillion won, Choi said, adding the amount was set in consideration of the plan to offer "adequate support" and will be financed through the issuance of state bonds.

The government plans to submit the budget bill to the National Assembly this week so that it can get lawmakers' approval before the Chuseok holidays set to begin at the end of September, Choi said.

It would mark the first time in 59 years for the South Korean government to allocate four extra budgets in a single fiscal year.

Starting the trilateral consultation session, Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun revealed a plan to provide "tailored support with no blind spots" with a focus on the vulnerable, included among whom are the unemployed, youth, freelancers, low-income people and merchants and the self-employed.

Lee Nak-yon (L), leader of the ruling Democratic Party, makes remarks at the start of a meeting in Seoul on Sept. 6, 2020, with Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun seated next to him. (Yonhap)

"The government will mobilize every policy means to overcome the pending economic crisis," Chung stressed.

The DP chief, Lee Nak-yon, also said the government plans to aid "people in need first."

Presidential chief of staff for policy Kim Sang-jo and the DP floor leader Kim Tae-nyeon also attended the meeting.

Earlier this year, the government paid each of the country's households up to 1 million won.

Gyeonggi Province Gov. Lee Jae-myung expressed regret that his call for another universal relief money payment has not been accepted. He has long been against such a targeted approach.

He wrote on his social messaging account that he's afraid of "consequences of the forced discrimination" during the crisis.

He cited a saying that, "As the people get more enraged by injustice than poverty, you need to be concerned in politics more about injustice than poverty." Lee is a potential presidential candidate of the ruling party.

Gyeonggi Province Gov. Lee Jae-myung in a file photo (Yonhap)


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