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Job Creation Bill

Posted February. 22, 2010 08:55,   


The National Assembly could delay the passage of a job creation bill. The government and the ruling party planned to pass a revision to the Special Tax Treatment Control Law that offers a tax credit of three million won (2,585 U.S. dollars) of corporate or income tax per person to small companies. The plan was also to implement a tax credit last month for former workers at small companies registered on the job search database Worknet Korea who were unemployed for a long time and then implement the revision this month. The National Assembly’s Strategy and Finance Committee, however, failed to send the bill submitted Feb. 10 to a general meeting of parliament.

Rep. Suh Byung-soo, chairman of the finance committee, said Friday, “Article 59 of the National Assembly Law bars the proposal of a revision bill less than 15 days after it is submitted to the National Assembly.” The committee seems to be procrastinating at a time when unemployment is serious in the country. A revised bill that seeks to require a public confirmation hearing for the Bank of Korea governor-designate was also submitted late. The committee sent this bill to the National Assembly, however, claiming this was agreed by both the ruling and opposition parties. Committee members should not just care about hearings, where they can show off their achievements, but should also pay attention to the job creation bill, which urgently needs an agreement from both the ruling and opposition parties.

Chairman Suh said, “The ruling and opposition parties disagreed over tax credits for job creation.” Chung Sye-kyun, the chairman of the main opposition Democratic Party, said Friday, however, “The real number of the unemployed is 3.3 million and 600,000 more will be jobless by the end of February, when high school and college students graduate. The Democratic Party will do everything it can to improve the system or change budgets (to create more jobs).” Suh, who is supposed to persuade opposition parties to assist job creation, ignored the goodwill of the Democratic Party expressed in its support for job creation measures.

Ruling Grand National Party lawmaker Lee Hye-hoon, the chairwoman of the tax subcommittee under the finance committee, said, “Some say companies might exploit tax credits when they employ people as planned, which leads to a waste of taxpayers’ money.” If this is the case, the bill can be modified to minimize adverse effects. The internal conflict between the pro-Lee Myung-bak and pro-Park Geun-hye factions in the ruling party should not hamper resolving major issues at the National Assembly. Though Suh and Lee Hye-hoon are pro-Park, they will certainly think about the greater interest of their party.

Four major business associations have urged the implementation of the job creation bill next month. First, the finance committee must immediately send the bill to the general meeting and its tax subcommittee. The bill will be implemented temporarily until June next year. This is an urgent matter to help relieve unemployment. The government needs to consider applying the bill retroactively as long as it does not conflict with other laws.