Party chairmen agree to revise law on donations

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Party chairmen agree to revise law on donations

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National Assembly Speaker Chung Ui-hwa, far left, Moon Jae-in, chairman of the New Politics Alliance for Democracy, third from left, and Saenuri Chairman Kim Moo-sung, far right, pose for a photo after signing a letter of commitment for donations during a charity promotion event on Tuesday organized by the Community Chest of Korea at the National Assembly. [KIM KYUNG-BIN]

Leaders of ruling and opposition parties agreed to revise the income tax law to raise tax deduction rates on donations by the end of the ongoing regular session, which wraps up on Dec. 19.

Rep. Kim Moo-sung, the chairman of the Saenuri Party, proposed the revision to his opposition counterpart Moon Jae-in during his speech Tuesday at the Share Talk Concert organized by the Community Chest of Korea.

“Let’s pass a tax law revision to raise tax cuts on donations,” Kim said, adding that revising the law would further facilitate a culture of donation in the country.

Moon welcomed Kim’s proposal when it was his turn to deliver an address.

“Kim just resolved to pass the revision, and the people can expect its passage in a bipartisan spirit during the regular session,” the New Politics Alliance for Democracy (NPAD) leader said.

While it remains to be seen how the two parties will work together to change the tax law, it was interpreted as a rare bipartisan move at a time when the two sides have fought bitterly over the decision by the Park Geun-hye government to restore state control over history textbooks.

The two parties have yet to finalize a parliamentary schedule for what will be the last regular session of the 19th National Assembly. After the regular session wraps up next month, lawmakers will enter full campaign mode ahead of the general election in April.

On Tuesday, the Saenuri Party also decided to host its Social Exchange Center, run by the Community Chest of Korea. The center, created last month by the party’s special committee on the sharing economy, aims to connect social enterprises with private investors.

Saenuri Rep. Chung Mi-kyung, who heads the committee, told reporters Tuesday that the party had decided the special-purpose center would better serve its mission under the Community Chest of Korea, a private charity organization, rather under the government.

“The focus of future discussion will be on how far the government should be allowed to intervene and support the center and its projects,” the committee chairwoman said.

BY KANG JIN-KYU [kang.jinkyu@joongang.co.kr]

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