[Letter to the editor]Reform expectations

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[Letter to the editor]Reform expectations

People have high expectations that President Lee Myung-bak will reform government. Lee said in his inauguration address, “I will delegate the tasks that the government doesn’t have to do to the private sector and will introduce competition in the public sector.” He also promised to reduce the number of government employees and make them serve the people. For the last five years, we could not see any significant restructuring of the public sector.
The new government can start by reforming the government employees’ pension system. A committee formed in July 2007 proposed a draft plan to reform the system. But in the end no bill was submitted. Ex-Health and Welfare Minister Rhyu Si-min proposed a bill to revise the system in January, but the media and the people did not pay much attention to it. The bill aimed to reduce the deficit by reducing benefits to policyholders; it was rejected by politicians and the government employees’ unions. I think the bill was in the right direction. This year the central government will inject 1.3 trillion won ($1.35 billion) of tax money to support the system. The new government should reduce this use of tax money with fundamental reform measures.
Bae Jun-ho, economics professor,
Hanshin University
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