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Koreans evenly divided on issue of income redistribution or growth

South Koreans are almost equally divided on the sticky issue of whether the country's policy priority should be income redistribution or economic growth, a poll said Tuesday.

According to the survey of 3,443 South Koreans, 50.4 percent of the respondents said redistribution matters more than growth, with the remaining 49.6 percent replying growth is more important.

(Yonhap)
(Yonhap)

Nearly 54 percent of low income earners answered income redistribution is more important than economic growth, according to the survey taken by the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs and Seoul National University's Institute of Social Welfare between March and June 2016.

Some 31 percent replied that the government should raise taxes in order to expand social welfare, with 35.4 percent opposing any tax hikes. Another 33 percent remained neutral on the issue.

About 48 percent of the surveyed favored collecting more taxes to increase the country's welfare budget, while 35 percent opposed tax hikes to that end.

Slightly over 44 percent said the government should provide welfare programs for only the poor, not all Koreans, with roughly 35 percent replying all people should benefit from such programs.

About 33 percent of the respondents said taxes should be raised in an effort to help the economy recover, while 27.4 percent opposed such an idea. Nearly 40 percent said they were neutral on the issue.

South Korean politicians are also divided on the hot-button issue of which is more important, income redistribution or economic growth. Progressives insist the government should put more emphasis on redistribution, while conservatives put a premium on growth. (Yonhap)

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