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S. Korea to provide 4-person household with $820 in emergency relief package

Xinhua | Updated: 2020-03-30 15:00
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People wearing masks to protect against contracting the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) walk along a street in Seoul, South Korea on March 25, 2020. [Photo/Agencies]

SEOUL - South Korean President Moon Jae-in said on Monday that his government decided to provide each four-person household in the bottom 70-percent income group with 1 million won ($820) in its emergency disaster relief package over the COVID-19 outbreak.

Moon made the remark during the third weekly meeting of the emergency economic council, saying the emergency disaster relief money of 1 million won will be offered to households with four members, of which gross income stays at or below 70 percent of the total, according to the presidential Blue House.

About 14 million households will receive the handout. Households with four or higher family members will be given 1 million won, according to the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

One-person households will be granted 400,000 won ($330), two-person households 600,000 won ($490), and three-person households 800,000 won ($650) respectively.

Moon asked households in the top 30-percent income bracket to understand the decision, saying the government needs to leave room for additional fiscal stimulus package in order to rapidly tackle potential economic shocks.

To finance the disaster relief package, the government planned to draw up its "second" supplementary budget plan that amounts to 7.1 trillion won ($5.8 billion). The remaining 2 trillion won ($1.6 billion) will be funded by local governments.

The second extra budget bill is forecast to be submitted to the National Assembly after the middle of next month given the scheduled parliamentary election on April 15. The parliament approved 11.7 trillion won ($9.5 billion) worth of the "first" supplementary budget earlier this month.

Moon said the government also decided to delay or lower four social insurance premiums and electric rates for the low-income bracket, small companies, mom and pop stores and the self-employed, adding that it will be enforced for fees in March.

The four social insurances refer to public health insurance, national pension, employment insurance and industrial accident compensation insurance.

After the inaugural emergency economic council meeting, Moon announced 50 trillion won ($40.8 billion) of emergency financial aid package for small firms, microbusiness owners and the self-employed.

The size of the package was doubled to 100 trillion won ($81.6 billion) in the second meeting to prevent competitive companies from going out of business because of a temporary liquidity shortage.

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