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Dispute over Ruling Party`s Supplementary Budget Bill Rises

Dispute over Ruling Party`s Supplementary Budget Bill Rises

Posted May. 07, 2001 14:43,   


A dispute over a supplementary budget bill for the unemployment and the economic slowdown is rising. While the ruling Millennium Democratic Party (MDP) is trying to introduce the supplementary budget bill, the Grand National Party (GNP) strongly opposes to this move. The government is distancing from the position of MDP by saying that it is not an appropriate time to discuss the supplementary budget bill, and that should be discussed in June.

Lee Hoi-Chang, president of GNP attacked the supplementary budget plan, which entails the amount of five trillion won, as a pork-barreling supplementary budget plan.

In a presidential group meeting, Lee criticized the ruling party, saying that the government and the ruling party are trying to manage the downtrodden economy by spending money in an effort to patch up the public sentiment. The plan to use the tax-surplus as the supplementary budget indicates their pork-barreling policy, as the election is nearing.

GNP’s Lee Han-Ku said, "legally, the supplementary budget bill is supposed to be filed when the situation which the main budget plan could not predict happens. However, the budget for the unemployment was predictable. Such an illegal budget bill cannot be accepted."

In a press conference, Deputy Prime Minister, Jin Nyum, said, "It is premature to discuss the supplementary budget bill. After completing a comprehensive examination on the tax revenues, a deficit size of the public medical insurance, and the economic situation, it will be decided whether the supplementary budget will be filed or not. It is not true that the government and the ruling party have consented to file the supplementary budget bill, the size of five trillion won." However, the ruling party emphasizes the inevitability of supplementary budget by saying that "It is necessary to make up the medical insurance deficit and to establish the youth unemployment relief project."

MDP’s Kang Woon-tae said, "When there is a reasonable case, such as a large-scale unemployment, a supplementary budget can be filed." He also explained that "The rate of youth unemployment reached 12 percent, which is 2.5 times higher than the total unemployment rate of 4.8 percent." Kang said last Thursday, "The government and the ruling party decided to submit the supplementary budget bill of the five trillion won to the National Assembly in June."

Business management Professor Lee Pil-sang of Korea University criticized that "The government and the ruling party already decided to carry out this year’s budget plan in the first half of the year. In this situation, the ruling party’s plan for the supplementary budget bill seems to be a pork-barreling policy as the election is at near."

Kwon Soon-Hwai shkwon@donga.com