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`Budget bombardment’ for Jeolla in budgetary subcommittee excluding Rep. Lee

`Budget bombardment’ for Jeolla in budgetary subcommittee excluding Rep. Lee

Posted November. 18, 2014 07:17,   


Saenuri Rep. Lee Jung-hyun (Suncheon-Gokseong, South Jeolla Province) was not on the list of ruling Saenuri Party lawmakers on the budgetary adjustment subcommittee under the parliamentary Special Committee on Budget and Accounts, which coordinates the government’s budget plans. Lee, a member of the party’s Supreme Council, was elected as a lawmaker for the Jeolla region in the July 30 by-elections and re-elections for the first time in 26 years as a member of the Saenuri Party and its predecessors by pledging "bombardment of the Jeolla region with massive budget." The party’s leadership also repeatedly expressed intention to proactively support Lee, but has failed to give special consideration in the budgetary adjustment subcommittee after all.

The party reportedly could not afford to include Rep. Lee in its eight members on the subcommittee, because Gangwon Province, which produced nine Saenuri lawmakers, strongly demanded inclusion of Rep. Kim Jin-tae (Chuncheon, Gangwon) in the subcommittee, saying that “Lawmakers from the region were not included in the subcommittee last year as well.” Lee said, ”I understand the position of lawmakers from Gangwon,” adding, “Since I have just made it to the National Assembly through by-elections and re-elections, I will have a chance next year.” Saenuri Chairman Kim Moo-sung reportedly urged Reps. Lee Hak-jae and Lee Hyun-jae who are on the subcommittee to give special consideration to budget for the Jeolla provinces as demanded by Rep. Lee.

Rep. Park Jie-won of the main opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy hailing from Jeolla recently criticized the ruling party, saying, “The Saenuri Party vowed to bombard with budget, but is only bombarding with budgetary pledges (verbal propaganda).” In order to ensure that his pledge to make budgetary bombardment will not prove to be a blank promise, Lee plans to set up a basecamp at his office in the parliamentarians’ hall at the National Assembly during the budgeting period, meet with leaders visiting him from the Jeolla region and check situations in real-time. Considering sentiment of voters in the Jeolla region, not only Saenuri but also NPAD cannot afford to oppose or disregard Lee’s demand to allocate more budgets to the region.

Lawmakers of the rival parties are now engaged in fierce political competition over allocation of next year’s state budget. Chances are that some raise question over whether it is possible to allocate budget figures that would be close in the scale to ‘mass bombardment’ to a certain region. If such allocation occurs, this could dampen the grand principle of budget allocation: ‘rational distribution of resources.’ The budgetary coordination subcommittee is advised to more deeply agonize over ways to allot invaluable taxpayers’ money in the most rational way.