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Candidates try to woo young voters in their 20s and 30s

Posted February. 12, 2022 07:18,   

Updated February. 12, 2022 07:18


The competition is fierce between presidential candidates to woo young voters in their 20s and 30s. Lee Jae-myung, presidential candidate of the ruling Democratic Party (DP) recently pledged to offer an annual basic income of 1 million won to young people. It is separate from his pledge announced Friday to offer a basic income of dollar 1 million per year within his term in office. This means he pledged to offer up to 2 million won per person. In addition, Lee promised to guarantee loans of up to 10 million won at low interest rates for people in their 20s and 30s. Yoon Suk-yeol, presidential candidate of the main opposition People Power Party (PPP), said he would provide 500,000 won per month for up to eight months to help young people from low-income families settle in society. That is 4 million won per person a year. He is also considering supporting up to 2.5 million won per person a year to help young people save up.

People’s Party presidential candidate Ahn Cheol-soo promised to offer 10 million won to young people discharged from the military to help them advance into society, and Justice Party presidential candidate Sim Sang-jung said she would offer. 0 as basic asset for youth. These cash promises of major presidential candidates are expected to cost at least trillions of won. A total of 7 trillion won a year is necessary for Lee’s youth basic income. It is not clear how much financial resources will be needed for Yoon’s youth policy since he did not clarify what is considered low-income youth.

The same goes for candidates’ real estate pledges percent of newly built houses to young people, who buy a house for the first time. Yoon promised he would provide 300,000 houses for youth at cost. They did not present a specific roadmap as to when, where and how the houses will be supplied or who is eligible for the benefit.

It has been long since young people in their 20s and 30s, who account for 32 percent of the total voters, emerged as the casting voters. Those young people, who are sensitive to issues such as fairness, employment and real estate, could make or break the presidential election. The problem is those young people are misled by small cash promises or empty real estate policies made by presidential candidates. Furthermore, candidates are even trying to raise their approval ratings by exploiting gender issues.

Of course, some people in their 20s and 30s could benefit from cash support, but it is also necessary to link those support with human capital accumulation, such as education and training. Above all, what most young people really want is quality jobs. What is important is presenting their economic vision on increasing employment capacity of large and small companies and fostering startups, and key industries the next government will focus as well as establishing systems that will offer fair job opportunities to young people in their 20s and 30s. Pension reform is another issue young generations are highly interested in since the pension plans are at risk of going broke. The young voters in their 20s and 30s will not budge if candidates keep ignoring these fundamental problems and focusing on promising cash support.