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Nat`l Assembly to again delay passage of budget bill

Posted November. 30, 2012 06:43,   


The budget bill for next year up for deliberation by the National Assembly is unlikely to be passed before Dec. 24, making passage by the legal deadline of Saturday impossible.

According to the National Assembly and the Strategy and Finance Ministry on Thursday, chief secretaries of both the ruling and opposition parties agreed at a meeting of the parliamentary strategy and finance committee to pass the tax reform bill at the Tax Subcommittee on Dec. 21 and the bill on tax revenue budget in a Dec. 24 plenary meeting.

A ministry official said, “Even if the tax reform bill is passed by the standing committee, the bill must be screened by the National Assembly’s Legislation and Judiciary Committee. After that, the special committee on budget and settlement of the National Assembly will have to confirm the tax increase. So the bills will probably be passed in a plenary meeting around Dec. 28 at best."

The delay in handling the budget bill has recurred every year. The bill was passed Dec. 31 last year due to crippled parliamentary operations over the passing of the bill on the ratification of the Korea-U.S. free trade agreement. In 2010, the bill was passed in a Dec. 8 plenary session after physical brawls at the National Assembly.

The parliamentary subcommittee for calculation adjustment on Thursday finished the inspection of the budget cuts by bipartisan agreement, but postponed the inspection of the increase until after the presidential election.

Accordingly, the National Assembly will again postpone the passing of the budget bill for next year until after the election. Fears are growing that when the inspection of the budget and tax reform bills resumes, next year’s budget could get too bloated for Korea to bear because a week is relatively too short to handle politically sensitive issues, such as heavy taxes on multiple-home owners and free daycare services for children aged 0-2.