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Parties agree on 4th supplementary budget

Democratic Party floor leader Rep. Kim Tae-nyeon and People Power Party floor leader Rep. Joo Ho-young shake hands after reaching an agreement on Tuesday. (Yonhap)
Democratic Party floor leader Rep. Kim Tae-nyeon and People Power Party floor leader Rep. Joo Ho-young shake hands after reaching an agreement on Tuesday. (Yonhap)

Rival parties on Tuesday agreed to process the fourth supplementary budget bill. The bill was set to be put to the parliamentary Special Committee on Budget and Accounts later in the day.

The 7.8 trillion won ($6.7 billion) supplementary budget bill was put to the National Assembly on Sept. 11.

The agreement was made at a meeting between the floor leaders of the ruling Democratic Party and the main opposition People Power Party, where a number of changes were made to the bill proposed by the government.

At the floor leaders’ meeting, the two sides agreed to reduce the funds allocated for telecom subsidies, but to expand a free influenza vaccine program as well as a special child care subsidy program.

Under the agreement, the 20,000 won telecom subsidy proposed by the government will be given only to South Koreans aged between 13 and 34, and those above 65 years of age, cutting the budget for the project to 520 billion won from the original 920 billion won. Originally all Koreans over age 13 were to have been eligible.

The special child care subsidy program will be expanded to include middle school students as well as elementary school students, but the subsidy will be lowered to 150,000 won from the proposed 200,000 won.

As for influenza vaccine coverage, the two sides agreed to increase the funds allocated for the program to provide free vaccines to 1.05 million people.

In addition, the parties agreed to give 1 million won each in relief funds to all taxi drivers -- both those working for taxi companies and those operating independently -- and 2 million won to businesses that have been ordered to close as part of social distancing measures.

By Choi He-suk (cheesuk@heraldcorp.com)
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