The Korea Herald

ssg
지나쌤

‘4 in 10 opposition lawmakers own multiple homes’

By Ko Jun-tae

Published : July 28, 2020 - 16:39

    • Link copied

Members of the Citizens’ Coalition for Economic Justice pose with pickets at a press briefing Tuesday. The progressive civic group argued in a report that analyzed home ownership information of 103 lawmakers from the United Future Party and its satellite party, Future Korea Party, to find that 41 lawmakers, 39.8 percent, have two or more homes. (Yonhap) Members of the Citizens’ Coalition for Economic Justice pose with pickets at a press briefing Tuesday. The progressive civic group argued in a report that analyzed home ownership information of 103 lawmakers from the United Future Party and its satellite party, Future Korea Party, to find that 41 lawmakers, 39.8 percent, have two or more homes. (Yonhap)
Four out of 10 lawmakers belonging to the conservative opposition faction own multiple homes, and their real estate holdings are worth more than twice as much as those of their peers in the ruling party, a civic group said in a report Tuesday.

The Citizens’ Coalition for Economic Justice analyzed home ownership information for 103 lawmakers from the United Future Party and its satellite party, the Future Korea Party. It found that 41 lawmakers, 39.8 percent, have two or more homes.

Five lawmakers were found to own three or more homes, while nine did not have any. The aggregate value of homes owned by the 103 lawmakers reached 213.9 billion won ($178.6 million), which translates to 2.08 billion won for each lawmaker.

Ten of the 41 lawmakers with multiple homes sit on the National Assembly’s Land, Infrastructure and Transport committee or its Strategy and Finance committee, which shape the country’s housing market policies, the Seoul-based group said, raising the issue of conflict of interest.

“Real estate-rich lawmakers should not be involved in related parliamentary committees,” the group said in a press release.

The analysis was based on March data filed by the lawmakers themselves with the National Elections Commission ahead of the April general elections, and includes real estate owned by their spouses, the group said. It is mandatory in South Korea for candidates to disclose their personal assets prior to an election.

The richest in real estate was Rep. Park Duk-hyum, who reported owning three apartments, one detached residential building, two commercial units, two storage units, one marina port and 36 lots, worth a total of 28.9 billion won.

Including him, the top 10 real estate-rich lawmakers owned properties worth a total of 106.4 billion won, the report showed.

The average real estate holdings of the 103 UFP and FKP lawmakers, 2.08 billion won, far exceeds the comparable figure for the lawmakers from the ruling Democratic Party of Korea and its sister satellite party, the Platform Party, which stands at 980 million won, according to the group. It is around seven times the average for the general Korean public.

The opposition party has criticized the ruling party and its politicians for advancing “botched” policies to fight real estate speculation and curb skyrocketing housing prices. It also opposes the ruling party’s plans to relocate the country’s administrative capital from Seoul to Sejong, accusing the party of using the issue to divert public discontent over soaring housing prices.

By Ko Jun-tae (ko.juntae@heraldcorp.com)