[Times Editorial] Wasteful National Assembly
The National Assembly passed a bill last week that will enlarge the number of assistants per lawmaker to eight from the current seven. This will enable each lawmaker's office to additionally hire a grade 8 assistant, apart from the more senior grade 4, 5, 6 aides and the lower grade 9 aides.
국회가 지난주 국회의원 사무실마다 보좌진을 증원하는 법률 개정안을 가결시켰다.이에 따라 각 사무실은 기존 4,5,6급과 9급 보좌진 외에 8급 직원을 추가 채용할 수 있다.
The plan will require the National Assembly Secretariat to spend an additional 6.7 billion won annually. Parties acted with unusual swiftness in approving the bill.
증원으로 인해 국회사무처는 매년 67억원 예산을 더 써야 한다. 정치권은 이례적으로 빨리 보좌진 증원 법안을 통과시켰다.
The lawmakers' offices already employ too many assistants, in comparison to legislatures in other countries.
이미 국회의원들은 다른 나라에 비해 너무 많은 직원을 두고 있다.
The job descriptions for the different grades of assistants are not quite clear and some of them overlap. It is incomprehensible why lawmakers need an extra assistant. The Assembly should have made it clear to the public about why they need extra employees and how the extra hiring will improve their productivity as lawmakers.   
Many taxpayers will find the extra hiring plan laughable since the Korean lawmakers have long been criticized for not doing much while collecting hefty paychecks and special allowances, not to mention abusing all kinds of other privileges. The swift action to expand the number of assistants in the legislative branch shows the lawmakers' insensitivity toward public opinion.
The additional hiring goes completely against the pledge of the 20th National Assembly, which was launched in May 2016, to reduce some of the lawmakers' privileges. Instead of expanding the number of assistants, the Assembly should have come up with measures to downsize the Assembly workforce. 
The opposition parties have been adamantly protesting the Moon Jae-in administration's plan to hire more public servants. Their protest of Moon's job policy sounds hollow after the lawmakers agreed to expand their own offices.

11월 27일 (월) The Korea Times 사설
사설 전문 번역은 종이 신문 코리아타임스 해설판 NIE Times를 통해 만나 보실 수 있습니다.
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