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“Advance Aid First and Take Legal Procedures Later for Low-income Earners in Emergencies”

“Advance Aid First and Take Legal Procedures Later for Low-income Earners in Emergencies”

Posted December. 26, 2004 22:31,   


The government has decided to promote aggressively a two-stage plan entitled “Measures to better secure the livelihood of ordinary people” under circumstances in which the lives of ordinary citizens are becoming increasingly insecure due to the sluggish economy. Recently, a four-year-old boy was found dead in a closet of his home in Daegu, highlighting the worsening situation.

According to the Office for Government Policy Coordination on December 26, the government is planning to deploy a total of some 1,200 “self-supporting workers” and “young workers experiencing a workplace,” one per dong, in Seoul and six megalopolis from next year to assist public officials in charge of social welfare.

The workers will assume the task of delivering free meals during winter vacation to 250,000 children from families who are not covered by the existing National Basic Livelihood Security Act.

It was also announced that the government will implement the budget for next year’s public work projects, which amounts to 155 billion won, as soon as possible within the first half in order to create more jobs and that it will also give out, by introducing a national scholarship project, five million won in tuition fees and three million won in living expenses to 2,330 college students from low-income families starting from next year.

In addition, the minimum monthly livelihood subsidy of a 4-member family next year will be raised by 8.9 percent to 1.14 million won, and an additional 17,000 households will be subject to the National Basic Livelihood Security Act.

Prior to the announcement, President Roh Moo-hyun appeared in the live fundraising program of KBS 1TV entitled “Request of Love” on Christmas Day and, regarding the establishment of social safety net for low-income earners, said that the government will come up with an emergent aid measure with which it could first protect those who are in emergencies and then set up necessary legal elements and procedures.

President Roh also said that the government should alleviate the burden and pain that individuals and families cannot cope with for themselves, adding that the government will utilize health insurance to deal ultimately with health problems of the public and extend aid allowance to whoever requests it.

Jung-Hun Kim Yong-Gwan Jung jnghn@donga.com yongari@donga.com