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2017-05-10 11:34
At a glance: Moon's pump-priming, labor reform, anti-corruption plans
By Eom Da-sol

President-elect Moon Jae-in promised during the election campaign to kick-start a fully fledged program of reform to boost the quality of life. The following are his core pledges on the economy, labor, the environment and anti-corruption and cultural issues.

Economic growth and finance

Moon has named his economy-reboot plan “J-nomics,” which includes reducing unemployment through more jobs in the public sector, raising corporate tax rates to fund public welfare and a spending increase to better cope with the Fourth Industrial Revolution. He also promised to emphasize the importance of the government’s role in the economy.

The president said he will:

- Create 810,000 jobs, especially in the public sector, over the next five years.

-Tighten the grip on chaebol or family-controlled big companies for economic democratization.

- Raise the corporate tax rate from 22 percent to 25 percent.

- Keep the household debt increase rate below the income growth rate.

- Decrease the interest rate cap from 25 percent to 20 percent for debtors.

- Launch a presidential committee for the Fourth Industrial Revolution under the “21st Century New Deal Plan.”

Labor, work environment

Korea was notorious for the second-longest working hours among Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) members in 2015. And the current minimum wage is far lower than the other members at 6,470 won ($5.71) an hour.

Moon Jae-in has promised to fix these. “Respecting the labor force will be the most representative stance of the next government,” Moon said during a TV speech on May 5.

He promised to:

- Introduce mandatory two-week paid summer holidays at every workplace.

- Reduce maximum working hours from 68 to 52 a week.

- Raise the minimum wage to 10,000 won an hour by 2020.

- Run a state fund to compensate workers not paid by their employers.

Anti-corruption

Moon has promised to build a “fair, transparent and righteous” country by implementing a sweeping anti-corruption drive. His commitment reflects the people’s desire for a fresh start two months after former President Park Geun-hye was ousted over a sprawling corruption scandal.

The president will:

- Establish a state integrity committee for counter-corruption measures.

- Suspend financial or technical support to any university accused of corruption in entrance examinations or in the student grading system.

- Prohibit people from applying for high-ranking official jobs if they have a history of committing any of the following: conscription exemption, real estate speculation, tax evasion, false resident registration and thesis plagiarism.

- Make prosecutors more independent to limit the power of authorities, including chaebol and the president.

Culture

Moon pledged to boost the culture and arts sector, which includes K-pop, movies, animation, music, art and online games.

He plans to:

- Give 15 percent of the tax deduction in cultural expenses – the money people use for live performances or movies – to the disadvantaged.

- Settle standard payment guideline for artists.

- Establish a state fund to provide social services to artists.

- Launch employment insurance for artists.

- Guarantee the copyright of movies, TV programs, publishing, online cartoons and characters.

- Provide spaces to artists by remodeling closed factories or facilities.

sunnyeom21@gmail.com

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