[EDITORIALS]Levy plan long overdue

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[EDITORIALS]Levy plan long overdue

The government has started work on a plan to unify the leviers of four social insurances.
Unifying the imposition and levying of the insurance dues would do good in many ways, including improving the efficiency of government affairs and ending inconvenience for insurance subscribers.
Another huge merit would be that it would help confirm the income of those who run their own businesses. In fact, about 47.5 percent of independent business owners do not pay taxes and the government has the income data of only 26.1 percent of them.
In the report for “Vision 2030,” a long-term plan of the government, about 60 experts in state-run research institutes or universities wrote, “The health insurance and the national pension started from wage earners first and were extended to independent business owners whose incomes are insufficiently confirmed. It led to damage of the equity and it also has an element that may destabilize the financial status.”
For wage earners, the health insurance dues per month have leapt by 180 percent in six years, whereas that of independent business owners increased by 86 percent. The average monthly income of a wage earner, reported to the National Pension Service, has increased, whereas that of independent business owners remained unchanged for several years. As a result, the average declared monthly income of a wage earner is almost double that of an independent business owner, as reported to the National Pension Service.
Some independent business owners report a higher income to the National Pension Service, as they will get back a pension in their old age, whereas they report less income to the health insurance system, as they will not get that money back. Also, about 64 percent of national pension holders reported their income as higher.
It has been a long-standing concern to find an appropriate measure in order to better confirm the reported income of independent business owners. The unifying of the imposition and levying of fees will be of great help here.
The labor unions of the public corporations that operate the insurance are opposed to the idea, as the unifying system will need fewer employees. But the remaining manpower will be sent to new services, such as taking care of insurance for senior citizens or controlling the abuse or misuse of insurance.
Therefore, the labor unions should not make unconditional opposition.
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