Moon calls for opposition’s cooperation for 2021 budget, controversial bills

29-Oct-2020 Intellasia | KoreaTimes | 6:02 AM Print This Post

President Moon Jae-in has called for cooperation from the opposition parties in passing next year’s budget to help the country overcome the COVID-19 pandemic and prepare new growth engines.

The opposition bloc, however, cold shouldered his call, saying the government and the supermajority ruling party are pushing ahead with controversial policies.

Moon urged for cooperation during a speech at the National Assembly, Wednesday, to propose the government’s budget for 2021.

“The focus of the budget proposal for 2021 is overcoming the coronavirus crisis in an early phase to save lives, and achieving a fast and strong economic recovery,” Moon said.

The President said the government was planning to provide tailored economic support for young people, the middle-aged and small business owners by creating 570,000 jobs in the private sector. He also said the government will directly provide 1.03 million jobs to employment-vulnerable people including the elderly and the disabled.

The 555.8 trillion won budget also includes Moon’s “Korean New Deal,” which focuses on the development of three sectors ? digital, environment and local economy. “The Korean New Deal is a national transformation project to become a leading country, and a national development strategy which entails a total of 160 trillion won of investment. A total of 32.5 trillion won, including 21.3 trillion won from government expenditure will be allocated the for creation of 360,000 jobs,” he said.

Moon devoted the latter part of his speech to call for cooperation from the opposition bloc on controversial issues, including the government’s real estate policy of tighter market restrictions, the “fair economy act” aimed at limiting the largest stakeholder’s control of boards, and the launch of an independent investigative body for corruptions of high-ranking officials.

The ruling Democratic Party of Korea (DPK) expressed strong support for Moon.

“President Moon addressed key parts of the problems we are facing,” DPK Chair Lee Nak-yon told reporters after the speech, adding the party shares the government’s understanding of the national crisis during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the suffering in many sectors stemming from it, and is on the same page with the government as to how to deal with the crisis.

The main opposition People Power Party (PPP), however, strongly criticised Moon and the DPK for unilaterally pushing ahead with policies while not listening to voices from the opposition bloc.

“Moon is placing all the blame for economic and other problems on COVID-19,” the PPP said in a statement.

Rep. Yun Hee-suk of the PPP wrote on Facebook, “The speech showed the Moon administration’s perception that no other economic policy is needed except for expanding fiscal spending.”

PPP emergency committee chief Kim Chong-in did not attend a meeting with Moon and party leaders, which is usually held when a president visits the Assembly for a speech, to protest the ruling bloc not accepting the party’s request to appoint a special counsel to look into financial fraud cases which allegedly involve ruling bloc figures.

PPP floor leader Rep. Joo Ho-young was to attend the meeting and went to the venue, but was not able to enter as guards from Cheong Wa Dae insisted on performing a body search and attempted to check his cell phone even though he identified himself as the main opposition party floor leader, according to a party spokesman.


Category: Korea

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