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Government Injects 8.6 Trillion for Lower Income Group

Posted September. 27, 2005 05:56,   


Starting next year, a total of 8.6 trillion won will be paid out to low-income families over four years. The government and the ruling Uri Party drew up the comprehensive welfare policies to strengthen the social safety net at a high-level party-government conference on September 26 in the National Assembly in the presence of Prime Minister Lee Hae-chan and party leader Moon Hee-sang.

They loosened the qualification for basic livelihood protection benefits from the current monthly income of 120 percent of the minimum amount of living expenses (1.136 million won for a family of four members) to 130 percent, raising the number of beneficiaries by some 116,000.

Emergency welfare support system will also be implemented for families facing temporary financial difficulties due to job loss of the family feeder or other causes in medical services and housing. Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) will be introduced in 2007 for working families whose income level is lower than a designated level.

Medical expenses beneficiary will be extended to include minors under the age of 18 (2006), pregnant women (2007), and the disabled (2009). Childcare and education expenses will cover the middle class as well as the current lower-income brackets.

Kang-Myoung Chang tesomiom@donga.com