Park Govt Floundering Amid Pledge to Increase Welfare Benefits

When President Park Geun-hye was elected, one of her campaign pledges was to increase welfare benefits for the elderly and young without raising taxes. However, the Park administration has struggled with making this promise a reality. Government officials and citizens alike are questioning whether it is fiscally possible and responsible to increase welfare benefits, or even to maintain them at their current level without increasing taxes as well. The following two articles offer two perspectives on the issue in question.

Article from Newsis:

President Park on Conflict Over ‘Welfare Benefits without Increasing Taxes,’ Says “Aims to Do it Without Burdening Citizens”

korean government welfare benefits tax increase

On Feb. 6, President Park said in her keynote on ‘welfare without increasing taxes,’ “Right now, the topic of taxes is coming up, but our goal is to revitalize the economy, and increase the number of jobs available, which will benefit not just young people, but also increase tax revenue. Our aim is to provide these welfare benefits without burdening the citizens.”

Blue House spokesperson Min Kyung-uk said President Park said this on the morning of Feb. 6, after presiding over a meeting at the Blue House of the Presidential Committee on Aging Society and Population Policy on ‘creating favorable conditions for marriage.’

This was the first time President Park had made this kind of statement targeted towards the aggressive questioning by Saenuridang representative Kim Mu-seong and newly appointed floor leader Yoo Seung-min in the politics sphere over the “welfare benefits without tax increases” controversy.

Although she explained the aim of no tax increase welfare benefits without offering a concrete opinion, the priority is to increase tax revenue through economic revitalization. But if welfare funds are inadequate, then it will be in the right order to increase taxes, and reexamine their current stance on the issue.

President Park also brought up the issue of young people who are hesitant to get married because of the housing issue, and afterwards said, “The government sees welfare benefits as a precious investment in the future.”

Thus, “If we help even a little, they can get a job, so helping people who are tied down by a lot of things, and can’t even dream of getting a job is an investment in the future.” She also emphasized, “We see daycare as a precious investment in the future.”

In the politics sphere, the discussion of restructuring welfare benefits and the related free daycare is portrayed as a level of investment to prepare for the future that they will never back down from.

Comments from Naver:


Don’t raise taxes, and don’t give welfare!! What do you mean, raising taxes, and giving welfare? Please do something that actually reflects the state of the country. Do you think we’re a developed country? What a bird-brained bitch[referring to President Park Geun-hye].


keke Funny how they switch their words.


Do we have to listen to Korean speech until the last word after all…”Welfare benefits without increasing taxes”…was all we heard…but after that…”The aim is to try without burdening the citizens…if it doesn’t work out, we will increase taxes” is the hidden connotation.


What are they saying…I don’t get it.


President Park: “So that’s why I have to do the job.” kekekeke [Note: This is what President Park said in the presidential TV debate.]


What achievements does the Park Geun-hye administration have?


Do you know the meaning of the words you’re saying?


Wow, watch how she changes her words, keke But Ms. Chicken, why are you increasing our taxes?


There are so many thieves in our country’s government.


Sigh I really want to test their intelligence level.

Article from KBS:

“‘Decreasing Welfare Benefits vs Increasing Taxes’…Need Citizens’ Agreement

Korean President Park Geun-hye welfare benefits tax increase

The core of a recent conflict lies in whether the government should decrease welfare benefits, or increase taxes.

This is because the current government’s pledge to offer welfare benefits without increasing taxes is running into limitations everywhere.

Reporter Kim Jin-hwi has more.

This is the government’s pledged budget from two years ago.

Expand free daycare for infants, adopt a basic pension plan for the elderly, reduce college tuition by half the amount…

It would cost 100 trillion won for five years to fulfill all these welfare pledges.

The government said if they unearth their hidden sources of tax revenue, and get rid of unnecessary government spending, they would have the ability to fulfill their promise to provide welfare without increasing taxes.

However, local governments said one after the other that they cannot handle welfare funds.

The most important problem is that the government is not increasing tax revenue to a level consistent with their plan.

The plan to legalize the underground economy and obtain 27 trillion won was met with stiff opposition from independent businessmen, and the plan to increase tax revenue by 18 trillion by decreasing tax free benefits and tax exemptions caused problems with “year-end tax adjustments.”

They also were not able to decrease annual expenditures.

This year, the social overhead capital budget was supposed to decrease by 2 trillion 7 billion won, and will instead increased by 1 trillion 1 billion won.

In this kind of situation, to maintain the current welfare level without raising taxes, government debt will nearly quadruple in fifteen years.

Whether to pay more taxes, and receive more welfare benefits, or continue paying the same amount of taxes, and receive less benefits is something the citizens will need to discuss.

Statistics from Realmeter. In response to the question  "Should the government increase taxes, or decrease welfare benefits?" 34.5% of survey respondents said the government should increase taxes, 46.8% said the government should decrease welfare benefits instead of increasing taxes, and 18.7% don't know.

Statistics from Realmeter. In response to the question “Should the government increase taxes, or decrease welfare benefits?” 34.5% of survey respondents said the government should increase taxes, 46.8% said the government should decrease welfare benefits instead of increasing taxes, and 18.7% don’t know.

Comments from Naver:


Decreasing the benefits of National Assembly members vs Increasing National Assembly member’s taxes


Wait keke there is no welfare, you empty-headed chicken!!!!


I’m at a loss for words keke


You empty-headed chicken! There is no welfare!!!!


We should adopt a system similar to the US, where if you can’t keep your pledges, you can be impeached.


———————————The United States Congress Members: 435+100=535———————–Korean National Assembly Members: 299 People. Don’t raise taxes, and cut the number of members in the national assembly in half…In the US, there are only 535 members, so why does Korea need 300 members…We’re wasting our tax money.


The answer is to impeach her.


When do we get to elect a new president?


Increasing cigarette prices doesn’t account for tax increases?


I guess the government came to an agreement with the citizens on things like cigarette prices and electricity bills before increasing them, right? ^^ [sarcastic tone] ke There is nothing new about this…Why don’t you seek agreement with the citizens on the Kim Young-ran law? People will agree nearly unanimously. The more I know about society, the darker and more desolate it seems…

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