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Pres. Lee Urges Reducing Private Education Spending

Posted September. 24, 2008 08:59,   


President Lee Myung-bak yesterday urged a survey on private education spending and to ways to cut such expenses, citing the burden on households from rising educational costs.

In a Cabinet meeting at the presidential office, he said, “Mid- and long-term government measures seeking to reduce private education spending will continue, but at the same time, short-term measures to reduce such spending are also needed to lift the burden of low and middle-income households.”

He ordered the Education, Science and Technology Ministry, the Justice Ministry and other related ministries to closely cooperate to seek measures, though their scope and strength were not yet decided.

A presidential office source said, “Considering that the Fair Trade Commission has just conducted a survey on the private education market and President Lee ordered the Justice Ministry to come up with measures, violations must have occurred in the area.”

“I was told that certain private institutes do not accept credit cards and accept cash only. If necessary, the National Tax Service will take action.”

Other government sources say an extensive investigation could be conducted into tax-evading private education institutes and price-gouging suspicions.

Tax authorities are considering audits on private institutes charging high fees that have been busted for tax evasion before.

President Lee said in the meeting, “Oil prices are stabilizing but we cannot afford to be complacent. Some have already gotten complacent but government officials should take the lead.”