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Ruling party chief agrees to block more tax cuts for big companies

  The head of South Korea's ruling party said Saturday that he agreed to ditch a plan to further cut taxes for big companies, as the conservative party looks to regain votes from the poor ahead of next year's elections.

   "It is inconsistent for the government to continue to cut taxes for big companies, which are said to put some 100 trillion won

(US$94.6 billion) in banks and block the money from flowing into small and medium-sized firms and to low-income people," Grand National Party Chairman Hong Joon-pyo said on a pre-recorded KBS TV program.

   Hong also said the government should come up with measures to prevent owners of big conglomerates from illicitly transferring their wealth to their siblings.

   Hong, a four-term lawmaker, was elected as the GNP's new leader on Monday with the mission of revitalizing the party's image before parliamentary and presidential elections next year. The GNP has been reeling from a humiliating defeat in April's by-elections.

(Yonhap News)