Gov’t to frontload spending in 2016The Ministry of Strategy and Finance will spend more than half of the government’s budget in the first half of the next year, it said on Tuesday.
The budget was passed by lawmakers last week.
To help boost the economy, the ministry will use 68 percent of the 330.6 trillion won ($280 billion) budget before June 2016.
The move is a repeat of this year, during which the ministry used the same percentage within the first half. This indicates the government will keep its expansionary fiscal policy stance next year as well.
The expenditures will include financial support for job creation, improving the livelihoods of the working class and economic revitalization projects, the ministry said.
The Finance Ministry is also pushing to spend $3.5 trillion won before January.
“The funds will primarily be spent on projects with a strong capacity to boost the economy,” a ministry official said. “That will help start projects about two weeks earlier than planned, contributing to economic revival.”
The ministry will allocate 78.8 billion won to subsidize job creation programs, 1.97 billion won to support childcare programs, 23.4 billion won to fund the construction of waterways in the Boryeong Dam and 46.4 billion won to subsidize the purchasing of hybrid vehicles.
The government’s budget bill was approved by ruling and opposition party lawmakers in the early hours of Dec. 3. It allowed the government to execute the budget plan, which includes subsidies for fuel costs, a 6 percent increase in support for childcare and higher wages for nursery school teachers.
Expenditures on economy-related programs rose 3.5 trillion won from the government’s earlier proposal, though lawmakers took 3.8 trillion won away from major government projects.
BY SONG SU-HYUN [email@example.com]
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