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Opposition criticizes gov’t plan to increase taxes, curb property prices

Opposition criticizes gov’t plan to increase taxes, curb property prices

Posted August. 03, 2017 07:27,   

Updated August. 03, 2017 07:51


Conservative opposition parties on Wednesday expressed concerns over the government’s plan to raise taxes for rich people and large businesses and to curb rising property prices. Although the government says that the measures target ultra-high-income earners, ultra-large corporations and real-estate speculators, the opposition parties claim that the ripple effects on the market could be far-reaching.

The main opposition Liberty Korea Party (LKP) warned that the planned tax hike would be the beginning of a tax increase on the entire people, calling it a “tax bomb.” Saying that although the tax hike will start with large corporations and the wealthy who shows less tendency of tax resistance, the amount of tax money collected from them will not be large enough to prevent the government from implementing a large-scale tax increase on the entire population.

In particular, the LKP argued that the plan to raise the corporate tax rate for top conglomerates could constrain their business activities and dampen domestic consumption. Choo Kyung-ho, an LKP lawmaker who sits on the parliament's strategy and finance committee, told a news conference that his party will “strongly block” the passage of the tax hike bill, asserting that the government is “stepping on the (economic) accelerator and the brake at the same time” with an extra budget and a tax hike.

The minor opposition Bareun Party criticized the government’s measures to reign in the rising property prices, arguing that the plan would “deal a blow” to the middle-class and low-income people by causing a “balloon effect” and a decrease in property transactions. Maintaining that the government cannot control house prices that are connected with interest rates and money supply, the party called for “supply-side measures” for home buyers, rather than trying to curb demands.

Su-Young Hong gaea@donga.com