Get back to the budget

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Get back to the budget

The National Assembly’s deliberations on next year’s budget, proposed by the government, have been stalled by opposition parties’ demand that our free trade pact with the United States be scrapped. If the legislature fails to meet the deadline to the pass budget, which is today, it could once again break the law its own members made. Given the importance of an annual budget amid the financial crisis in Europe and considering the sharp discord over welfare policies, our legislators’ deliberation on the budget is more critical than ever. Yet they are doing nothing.

The main opposition Democratic Party has refused to participate in deliberations in the Special Committee of Budget and Accounts while it protests the railroading of the Korea-U.S. FTA by the ruling Grand National Party. This is an act that holds the administration and the nation’s general welfare hostage for purely political reasons.

The GNP’s use of its majority to ratify the trade deal is a different matter from budget deliberations. Democrats should actively join the budget deliberations particularly given that they have fervently called for a dramatic increase in welfare and subsidies for industries expected to suffer from the opening of markets under the free trade pact.

The DP blocked budget deliberations last year by occupying the Land, Transportation and Maritime Affairs Committee to obstruct the passage of a special bill on utilizing the riverfront areas of four rivers.

The DP then attempted to thwart the passage of the budget to pressure the government to stop the four-rivers restoration project, which was half complete.

As a result, this year’s budget didn’t pass before the deadline, which eventually forced the ruling party to railroad it through at the request of President Lee Myung-bak. In the process, the opposition party took over the committee room and fought with GNP lawmakers even at the peak of our security crisis after North Korea’s attacks on Yeonpyeong Island and the Cheonan warship.

The legislature must deal with a 326 trillion won ($290 billion) budget to which 11.5 trillion won was added after the standing committees increased their pork-barrel budgets ahead of the general and presidential elections next year. The National Assembly should confront the pivotal task of coming up with a budget efficiently.

The DP must wake up and go back to the Assembly before the regular session is over in a week.
The National Assembly’s deliberations on next year’s budget, proposed by the government, have been stalled by opposition parties’ demand that our free trade pact with the United States be scrapped. If the legislature fails to meet the deadline to the pass budget, which is today, it could once again break the law its own members made. Given the importance of an annual budget amid the financial crisis in Europe and considering the sharp discord over welfare policies, our legislators’ deliberation on the budget is more critical than ever. Yet they are doing nothing.

The main opposition Democratic Party has refused to participate in deliberations in the Special Committee of Budget and Accounts while it protests the railroading of the Korea-U.S. FTA by the ruling Grand National Party. This is an act that holds the administration and the nation’s general welfare hostage for purely political reasons.

The GNP’s use of its majority to ratify the trade deal is a different matter from budget deliberations. Democrats should actively join the budget deliberations particularly given that they have fervently called for a dramatic increase in welfare and subsidies for industries expected to suffer from the opening of markets under the free trade pact.

The DP blocked budget deliberations last year by occupying the Land, Transportation and Maritime Affairs Committee to obstruct the passage of a special bill on utilizing the riverfront areas of four rivers.

The DP then attempted to thwart the passage of the budget to pressure the government to stop the four-rivers restoration project, which was half complete.

As a result, this year’s budget didn’t pass before the deadline, which eventually forced the ruling party to railroad it through at the request of President Lee Myung-bak. In the process, the opposition party took over the committee room and fought with GNP lawmakers even at the peak of our security crisis after North Korea’s attacks on Yeonpyeong Island and the Cheonan warship.

The legislature must deal with a 326 trillion won ($290 billion) budget to which 11.5 trillion won was added after the standing committees increased their pork-barrel budgets ahead of the general and presidential elections next year. The National Assembly should confront the pivotal task of coming up with a budget efficiently.

The DP must wake up and go back to the Assembly before the regular session is over in a week.
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