Published : 2013-09-16 15:42
Updated : 2013-09-16 15:42
The government will give utmost priority to boosting welfare and job creation in its spending plans next year, the Ministry of Strategy and Finance said Monday.
In a briefing to the National Assembly’s Strategy and Finance Committee, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Hyun Oh-seok said that the Park Geun-hye administration seeks to invest more than 100 trillion won ($92.4 billion) in various welfare projects next year, by far the biggest investment in the sector by a single Korean government.
It also plans to increase spending on public education and cultural projects as part of efforts to develop a creative economy, the ministry said.
Its education budget will be used to increase investment in joint research projects between universities and the business sector, and to help decrease tuition fees for students.
“Welfare and job growth will be the main focus of the government’s budget next year as it seeks to rejuvenate the livelihoods of the middle class and the economy,” the ministry and the ruling Saenuri Party said in a press statement.
The deputy prime minister added that the government will make sure to maintain its investment in infrastructure development.
This means that it will only invest in projects that had been given top priorities. The ruling party also urged the government to keep its infrastructure spending at a “moderate level” that would not further aggravate its deficit next year.
The ministry previously noted that it would scrap or streamline any overlapping projects to reduce inefficient spending.
Last July, government agencies requested a combined budget of 364.7 trillion won for next year, up about 23 trillion won, or 6.6 percent, from this year.
The government seeks to have its 2014 budget approved by the National Assembly by the end of October after making further adjustments during a Cabinet meeting at the end of this month.