6 in 10 unwilling to pay more taxes for welfare

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Aug 19, 2013 - 20:04
  • Updated : Aug 19, 2013 - 20:04
Six out of 10 South Koreans are unwilling to pay more taxes to increase spending on welfare, a poll showed Monday, in the latest sign of lukewarm public reaction to shouldering extra tax burdens.

The poll, which surveyed 1,000 adults across the country in December, found that 26 percent said the government should lower taxes even if it means that welfare benefits are cut.

It also showed that 25.4 percent said current taxes and welfare spending were appropriate while 8.6 percent of respondents said they had no view on the issue.

Only 40 percent said they were willing to pay more taxes to expand welfare levels, according to the poll released by the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs, a state-run health institute.

The development comes amid a controversy over whether President Park Geun-hye can deliver on her election promise to finance her big-budget welfare projects without raising taxes.

The government said last week that it will raise to 55 million won ($49,300) the minimum yearly salary that is subject to higher taxes, soon after its previous tax code overhaul caused public outcry that it would increase tax burdens on salaried and middle-income people.

The previous tax code overhaul had called for lowering to 34.5 million won the minimum amount of yearly salary subject to higher taxes as part of the government’s efforts to secure money to help finance Park’s welfare projects. (Yonhap News)