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GNP backs Lee’s call for kinder capitalismBy
Published : Aug. 16, 2011 - 19:43
The ruling party geared up its policy drive for the working class a day after President Lee Myung-bak trotted out a new socioeconomic vision for compassionate capitalism.
Opposition politicians called on Lee to start with dropping his own growth-first economic policies.
The governing Grand National Party vowed to introduce measures along the lines of its pro-working class policy and the envisioned “ecosystemic” development, which aims to create jobs and reduce disparities.
“Ecosystemic development is aimed at expanding compassionate capitalism as income gaps widen under neoliberalism. We will see policies take shape in that direction,” GNP leader Hong Joon-pyo said.
“I have constantly pushed for bolstering pro-working class policies, which are on the same track with ecosystemic development.”
The GNP has already embodied the concept of ecosystemic development in its policies to support the working class, and will do more for the mutual prosperity of large and small businesses, Hong’s chief secretary Lee Beom-rae said.
Welcoming Lee’s call for an ethical and responsible market economy, GNP floor leader Hwang Woo-yea said the government and the ruling party must complete relevant policymaking and legislation by the regular National Assembly session in September.
Lee Joo-young, chief of the GNP’s policy committee, said the panel would focus on measures to stabilize the housing market and improve conditions for irregular workers.
The party is preparing a policy package to improve the conditions of irregular workers late this month or early September.
Hong is set to tour 10 regions across the country starting next week to host joint conferences between special government panels for regional development and members of the party’s supreme council.
Some doubt how far Lee’s message can be carried through with actual policies such as tax cuts.
Lee’s warning against welfare populism, which came as he underscored efforts to balance the state budget, also raised concerns that the government might cut spending for certain policies for the low- and middle-income brackets.
Main opposition Democratic Party leader Sohn Hak-kyu said the envisioned new market economy model must start with scrapping Lee’s economic policies dubbed as “MBnomics.”
“President Lee emphasized a new market economy model for an ecosystemic development. That is the right direction we must take,” Sohn said in a radio speech Tuesday.
“But if President Lee really wants to go on this path, (his administration) must discard policies centered on large conglomerates, an economy based on construction and civil engineering projects such as the four-river development, the real estate policy and tax cuts for the rich.”
Sohn demanded a shift of economic policy focus from growth to employment and domestic markets.
Sohn rebuked Lee’s cautioning against populist calls for increased welfare, saying that an economy centered on large conglomerates and driven by construction work was to blame for increasing debts.
DP floor leader Kim Jin-pyo said the Lee administration’s tax cuts contradicted Lee’s pledge to achieve a balanced budget by 2013.
By Kim So-hyun (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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