Four in 10 Koreans hope the nation will become a welfare state in the future, data showed Thursday.
The survey, conducted last month by the Presidential Committee for National Cohesion, asked 1,000 adults aged 19 and older about how they see Korea 20 to 30 years from now.
In the survey, 39.8 percent of respondents said they wanted Korea to be a “welfare state with equitable distribution of wealth and a reduced gap between the rich and poor.”
The view in favor of a welfare-centered country was widely shared by the respondents, regardless of gender, age, education and income level.
Other answers were “politically advanced country” (22 percent), “economically strong country” (11.6 percent), “cultural powerhouse” (8.1 percent), “environmentally friendly country” (7.7 percent) and “technology-leading country” (5.7 percent).
Expectations are high for for the creation of more welfare policies, which is one of the election pledges by President Park Geun-hye in her 2012 campaign. But many local administrations are already struggling to bolster their welfare budget, hurt by the sharp increase in spending, including the newly introduced basic pensions for the elderly.
A group of mayors on Wednesday called on the central government to increase the budget for welfare policies due to growing shortfalls.
By Kim Da-sol, Intern reporter