South Korea’s 2019 budget to focus on tackling youth unemployment, low birthrate

South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon (L) speaks during a Cabinet meeting at the government complex in Sejong, south of Seoul, South Korea, January 23, 2018. File Photo by Yonhap.

SEOUL, March 26 (UPI) — Seoul has laid the groundwork for next year’s government budget, which aims to tackle major socioeconomic problems by improving the livelihoods of average citizens.

A Cabinet meeting on Monday approved the government’s guideline for its 2019 budget plan, which amounts to some 453.3 trillion won ($419 billion). This year’s budget was set at 428.9 trillion won ($396.5 billion).

“We plan to expand the total expenditure next year to 5.7 percent so that the people can experience improvement in the quality of life,” said Koo Yun-cheol, director general for Fiscal Performance Management at the Finance Ministry.

The government plans to concentrate resources on four core areas that include mitigating youth unemployment and the country’s ageing demographics coupled with a chronically low birthrate.

The budget will support employment and entrepreneurial programs for youths as well as vocational training and subsidies for housing, Yonhap reported.

Seoul also aims to promote innovative growth by creating jobs in new Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies such as drones and driverless cars, as well as strengthen safety and security for citizens.

All ministries will have to submit their budget request to the finance ministry by May 25.

The finance ministry will then compile a comprehensive budget plan for 2019 and submit it to the National Assembly in early September, News 1 reported.


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