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  • Throughout her campaign and transition period... President-elect Park Geun-hye pledged to make

  • welfare programs for the people her top priority. Last Tuesday,... the Korean government passed

  • this year's budget... with about one third of the funds allocated to welfare benefits.

  • Ji Myung-kil ... joins us now to walk us through. Good evening.

  • Good evening. Last week the government approved this year's

  • 322 billion U.S. dollar budget. Of that, 94 billion dollars was outlaid to

  • fund welfare programs,...which is a third of the total budget.

  • And some of Park Geun-hye's welfare pledges were funded such as pushing forward with free

  • childcare across the board and increasing college tuition support.

  • So what stands out in the array of benefits?

  • The three most noticeable welfare programs are free childcare, funding college tuition

  • fees and an increase in soldier's salaries.

  • Parents can choose to receive money for sending their children to daycare centers or get cash

  • benefits for raising their children at home. Couples with a newborn will be able to receive

  • up to three-hundred-seventy dollars a month in childcare expenditures or opt for 188 dollars

  • in child rearing expenses. Regardless of how many children there are

  • in a family... parents will receive support for each child.

  • Next, college tuition fees will be gradually funded over the next three years.

  • Students' in the bottom 20 percent income bracket will be eligible to receive more than

  • 4-thousand dollars per semester. And students from the bottom 40 to 70 percent

  • range will see their tuition burdens halved.

  • And some good news for young Korean men fulfilling their military service,...their salaries will

  • increase by 20 percent starting this year for all ranks. Sergeants will receive 122

  • dollars a month up from 101 dollars and Privates will receive 92 dollars up from 77 dollars.

  • So we have some benefits based on income... but childcare will be provided to all?

  • Yes, for example, the childcare service for newborns to five year olds is available to

  • anyone regardless of their income level. But experts say, in order to be more effective...the

  • policy needs to be designed better.

  • "I think within the universal policy scheme there is still room to think about whether

  • you want to put more policy incentives for those families where both parents are working

  • because they will be the ones who need more support,...clearly from a policy perspective

  • you want to have more children from low income families to go to childcare centers."

  • And starting in March, Korean parents who send their children age five and under to

  • daycare centers will be able to pay their expenses with special cards, which are being

  • provided by the government.

  • And what about health care. That's a big one to tackle.

  • President-elect Park Geun-hye has promised 100 percent national health insurance

  • coverage for severe diseases starting in 2016. Parliament is also pushing to increase pensions

  • for the elderly over the age of 65,...starting with people whose incomes are in the bottom

  • 70 percent.

  • (Korean) "You need more than seven billion dollars

  • to fund pensions for senior citizens over the age of 65 and within 20 to 30 years this

  • could put a huge burden on tax payers."

  • We've heard from the Park camp that she will try to expand welfare without directly raising

  • taxes. Will these creative measures succeed?

  • Experts say, welfare is not free and somebody has to pay for it. And the society will need

  • to have some kind of consensus of how much resource will be spent on certain welfare

  • programs. Kim Jae-jin at the Korea Institute for Public

  • Finance says there are many ways to increase taxes.

  • He says you can revive the underground economy and collect more taxes. The government could

  • also reduce tax cuts on non-taxable objects, which would be worth more than 28 billion

  • dollars, and could collect taxes on overdue payments, which would also add up to more

  • than 28 billion dollars. Another option is to raise income and corporate taxes which

  • the current Lee Myung-bak administration cut.

  • (Korean) "As Korea's society ages fast with low birth

  • rates...the government needs to find stable sources in tax revenues as the number of taxpayers(working

  • people) will likely decrease in the future."

  • Well it seems the government needs to work on how to secure money for more welfare programs.

  • Thank-you Myung-kil.

  • Sure.

Throughout her campaign and transition period... President-elect Park Geun-hye pledged to make


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福利[阿里郎新聞] (Welfare [Arirang News])

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    姚易辰 發佈於 2021 年 01 月 14 日