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Gov’t to consider paying compensation when Covid-19 recedes, says Moon

Gov’t to consider paying compensation when Covid-19 recedes, says Moon

Posted February. 20, 2021 07:08,   

Updated February. 20, 2021 07:08


“The government could consider paying compensation or subsidies to the people to boost the public’s morale when the country overcomes the Covid-19 pandemic,” President Moon Jae-in said Friday. The president made it official his administration’s plan to pay out disaster relief fund to all citizens, apart from a fourth round of relief fund that the ruling party and the government is pushing to pay selectively.

President Moon invited ruling Democratic Party Chairman Lee Nak-yeon and floor leader Kim Tae-nyeon to a meeting at the presidential office on the day. “The president emphasized compensation meant to bolster the public’s sentiment and morale and to help boost consumption,” presidential spokesman Kang Min-seok quoted Moon as saying. Lee suggested the president on the day “When the Covid-19 recedes, support to console the public and to boost consumption will be necessary.” Democratic Party senior spokesman Choi In-ho welcomed President Moon’s remark, saying, “Chairman Lee has been suggesting payment of compensation to help boost the economy and revitalize consumption, and it means wholehearted acceptance by the president of his suggestion.”

Commenting on differences in opinions between the ruling party and the administration over how to pay the fourth round of disaster relief fund, President Moon stressed, “We cannot share the same idea with the party from the very beginning, but the government will proactively implement the measure to ensure that it can become an assistance sufficient enough to minimize people who are left behind,” adding, “(Disaster relief fund) should be provided broadly and sufficiently.” Citing the disaster relief payment, the so-called Korean New Deal, and the parliament’s legislative activities as examples, the president also said, “You may as well take pride as the trio of party, government, presidential office that has generated the maximum results ever.”

Main opposition People Power Party’s spokeswoman Kim Eun-hye said in a statement, “Before the (general) elections, the ruling party and the government had pledged to pay money if they receive votes, and now they are offering to pay when people overcome Covid-19 with taxpayers’ money, and they are making a fool of all people just like children,” adding, “They did not care about people in their lavish rhetoric and oratory for elections.”

Hyung-Jun Hwang constant25@donga.com · Sang-Jun Han alwaysj@donga.com