South Korea unveils $33 trillion won budget for pandemic relief
South Korea has rolled out a $33 trillion won (US$29.2 billion) supplementary budget to support small businesses, create jobs and offer pandemic relief to households.
The government plans to create 164,000 new jobs through this budget, which is the largest package on record that it has announced outside its annual budget so far. The new budget will still need to be approved by parliament.
About $15.7 trillion won (US$13.86 billion) of the extra budget will be used to support small businesses and to provide cash handouts to households, while $2.6 trillion won (US$2.29 billion) is earmarked to help struggling job seekers, the finance ministry said.
“Despite clear signs of economic recovery, impacts on small businesses and those vulnerable to the pandemic are continuing,” said Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki.
“Timely measures are necessary and therefore it is, once again, time for fiscal policy to play a bigger role,” the minister said.
The government will set aside $4.4 trillion won (US$3.89 billion) of the supplementary budget to purchase COVID-19 vaccines, ramp up COVID-19 testing and boost immunisation.