Counting the cost of populist welfare pledges

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Counting the cost of populist welfare pledges

The Ministry of Strategy and Finance is considering a measure to examine just how much money would be required to fulfill the campaign pledges being made by presidential candidates ahead of December’s election.

The ministry will analyze related financial documents at the request of the National Election Commission, local media reported yesterday.

Finance Minister Bahk Jae-wan said the ministry will cooperate with the commission to prevent politicians from overusing populist bills during the campaign period.

Candidates are required to submit all documents related to their campaigns to the commission one or two months ahead of the election.

Australia and New Zealand are already counting the costs of candidates’ election promises, Bahk said.

“The Finance Ministry is in early talks with the election commission about compiling the budgets of each presidential candidate and making them public,” said an official at the ministry.

The election commission will make a final decision on the matter.

During the legislative election in April, the ministry was accused by the commission of violating its neutrality by disclosing the results of its analysis on how much the various candidates’ welfare pledges would cost.

By Song Su-hyun [ssh@joongang.co.kr]

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