[EDITORIALS]A constructive debateOn the eve of next year’s budget deliberations, opposition and governing party politicians are continuing their debates over the tax reduction proposed by the Grand National Party.
The Grand Nationals claim that a tax cut of about 9 trillion won ($8.6 billion) is possible if the government cuts back its reckless spending. The governing Uri Party opposes the plan, however, claiming that 58 percent of the proposed tax cuts would go to those with the top 20 percent of income.
“Since the tax cut benefits are concentrated on the wealthy, the plan will seriously hinder the fairness of taxation,” Byeon Yang-kyoon, budget and planning minister, said, supporting the governing party.
We are delighted that the governing and opposition parties are engaged in such an active debate over the tax issue. This time, they are focusing their energy on taxation ― a matter directly related to people’s everyday lives ― rather than on a political fight. That demonstrates what an appropriate legislative activity is.
The debates at the National Assembly should be focused on issues relevant to daily life, rather than the large topics of democratization, reform and ideology. Only then will people see a tangible result.
The tax cut debate must overcome political or emotional confrontation. Both the governing and opposition parties must back their arguments with logic and systematic verification to have a constructive discussion.
The Grand Nationals must present a convincing argument to show how the tax cut will positively affect our economy. Furthermore, it should present specific items to be included in spending cuts.
The Uri Party should stop its claim that only wealthy people will benefit from the plan while the majority will see no gains. It must seriously think about plans to cut government spending to curtail tax collection.
It is irresponsible for the governing party to increase welfare spending with a plan to raise taxes or to issue government bonds, which will eventually increase the national debt.
The public should also sternly monitor the nation’s finances at this point, because the difference in each political party’s position on this tax debate is proof of the two parties’ differences in policies and political philosophies.