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S. Korea considers another extra budget without debt sale: finance minister

Finance 10:27 June 04, 2021

By Kim Soo-yeon

SEOUL, June 4 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's chief economic policymaker said Friday the government is reviewing another extra budget with larger tax revenue in a bid to help support vulnerable people hit hard by the pandemic.

Minister Hong Nam-ki said the country will not sell more government bonds to finance the extra budget as it is expected to collect more tax revenue this year.

"The government will focus its policy efforts on helping restore the job market and achieve an inclusive growth," Hong said at a meeting with experts from economic institutions and investment banks.

Talk of another extra budget initially emerged from the ruling party after President Moon Jae-in said last week the country needs to leave the door open for additional fiscal support.

This computerized image illustrates an increase in tax revenue. (Yonhap)

This year's tax revenue is estimated at more than 300 trillion won (US$269 billion), up around 17 trillion won from the government's earlier forecast of 282.7 trillion won, according to government and parliamentary officials.

This, if realized, would also mark an increase of more than 15 trillion won from 285.5 trillion won in tax revenue collected last year.

In the first quarter, the country collected 88.5 trillion won, up 19 trillion won from a year earlier as corporate earnings increased amid an economic recovery.

South Korea created an extra budget of 14.9 trillion won in March to finance the 20.7 trillion-won relief aid for smaller merchants and vulnerable people hit hard by the pandemic.

Since last year, the country has drawn up five rounds of extra budgets totaling 82 trillion won to tackle the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.

sooyeon@yna.co.kr
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