Go to contents

Low-income Earners and Jobless to Get More Welfare Aid

Posted March. 13, 2009 08:10,   


State coupons and subsidies of an average 830,000 won (594 U.S. dollars) will go to people who have either been laid off or forced to close their small businesses over the next six months from May if they participate in large-scale public works projects.

Around 860,000 people in 400,000 households are expected to benefit from the program.

In addition, 1.1 million people in 500,000 households who are unable to work, including the elderly and the disabled, will receive monthly cash benefits of 200,000 won (133 dollars) on average for six months.

The government yesterday announced an emergency relief package for low-income families worth 6.37 trillion won (4.25 billion dollars) to help low-income earners and the unemployed cope with the economic crisis.

The number of low-income households receiving welfare will rise from 1.01 million to 2.21 million. Among them, the number of those eligible for basic livelihood funds will increase from 970,000 to 1.04 million households, while those to get emergency welfare will number 70,000 households, up from 40,000 now.

The government also plans to provide customized welfare for low-income people not eligible for basic or emergency benefits in accordance with their ability to work and assets.

Cash or coupons will go to low-income people who can work in public service and social infrastructure projects. For those unable to work, they will receive cash for temporary subsistence relief.

In addition, an average of five million won (3,337 dollars) in low-interest loans will go to people with little or no income but who own property worth 85 million (56,818 dollars) to 200 million won (133,689 dollars).

More than 90 percent of the relief funds will come from a supplementary budget requiring approval by the National Assembly late this month. Vice Strategy and Finance Minister Hur Kyung-wook said the government will implement the assistance measure as soon as parliament approves the extra budget bill.

leon@donga.com cha@donga.com