The Korea Herald


Korea to strengthen fiscal health: minister


Published : Oct. 23, 2011 - 20:29

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South Korea’s top economic policymaker said Saturday that the government should continue its efforts to strengthen fiscal health to prepare for any possible future crisis.

“In preparation for another economic crisis and potential fiscal challenges stemming from the low birthrate and aging population, we need to continue efforts to strengthen our fiscal health,” Finance Minister Bahk Jae-wan told a forum.

He expected that fiscal income will increase down the road thanks to expanding tax revenue but demand for expenditures will also grow in line with rising costs for beefing up the nation’s economic and growth potential.

His remarks come as South Korea is regarded to be in relatively good shape in terms of fiscal soundness, but there have been growing calls for more efforts to maintain the current level amid increased spending on social welfare and a rapidly aging population.

The government currently aims to achieve a balanced budget in 2013, one year ahead of its previous target, by cutting expenditures and broadening the overall revenue base.

Bahk reaffirmed that the government’s top priority in its fiscal management is to recover the fiscal health at a faster-than-planned pace, and moving up the schedule for a balanced budget is one of the measures intended to help attain that objective. 

(Yonhap News)