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Parties Agree to Pass ’09 Budget by Dec. 12

Posted December. 06, 2008 10:04,   


The ruling and opposition parties yesterday agreed to settle differences over tax cuts and the 2009 budget by Friday next week.

This measure is expected to end the four-day boycott of parliament by the main opposition Democratic Party.

Floor leaders and policymakers of the ruling Grand National Party, the Democratic Party and a negotiating group formed by the Liberty Forward Party and the Renewal of Korea Party agreed on passing the budget for next year and tax cuts.

The ruling party pressed ahead with due legislative procedures to pass the budget by Dec. 9, which falls on the last day of the regular parliamentary session this year. The main opposition Democratic Party wanted a delay to Dec. 15.

National Assembly Speaker Kim Hyong-o brokered a deal to settle the budget deal by Dec. 12 that the ruling and opposition parties finally accepted.

With political parties finding consensus over the time limit to settle the budget, a bill on tax cuts also passed the parliamentary standing committee yesterday.

The ruling party also decided to postpone the plan to lower inheritance and gift taxes at the request of the opposition party

A three-percent cut in value-added tax sought by the Democratic Party was replaced with financial support of 1.23 trillion won (833.6 U.S. million dollars) to small-scale self-employed and lower-income earners.

The Democratic Party also attended the National Assembly’s Special Committee on Budget and Accounts to work with the ruling party over budget deliberation.