Assembly plans plenary session votes for Dec. 27

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Assembly plans plenary session votes for Dec. 27

Leading political parties agreed Monday to hold a plenary session of the National Assembly on Dec. 27 to deal with pending bills related to public livelihoods.

The agreement was reached at a meeting of floor leaders of the ruling Democratic Party, main opposition Liberty Korea Party (LKP) and minor opposition Bareunmirae Party (BP).

Deputy floor leaders of the three parties will hold additional negotiations to iron out differences on key issues, such as a parliamentary probe into nepotism at public corporations, three kindergarten-related bills and a delay of a minimum wage increase, the floor leaders said after their gathering.

On the subject of the minimum wage issue, the rival parties agreed to establish a joint consultative body with the government to discuss measures to respond to the side effects of rapid wage increases, they said.

The nation’s minimum wage is set to increase from 7,530 won ($6.6) per hour this year to 8,350 won next year under the Moon administration’s income-led growth policy, prompting some economists to warn about further reduction of jobs in almost all industries.

Earlier in the day, Moon said at a meeting with economy-related ministers that the government will map out supplementary measures for its minimum wage policy if necessary.

“The LKP proposed delaying next year’s additional hike of the minimum wage by six months to July 1 and rival parties agreed to discuss the issue at a working-level gathering of parties and the government,” Kim Kwan-young, floor leader of the BP, said.

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