6 in 10 Koreans in favor of relief funds for all

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6 in 10 Koreans in favor of relief funds for all

Nearly 6 in 10 Koreans are in favor of emergency relief funds over the coronavirus outbreak being paid to the entire nation, instead of just the bottom 70 percent income group as proposed by the government, a poll showed Wednesday.

According to a survey of 500 adults nationwide, conducted by pollster Realmeter on Tuesday, 58.2 percent agreed to expanding the recipients of disaster relief funds to all households. In particular, 32.7 percent of the total said they are very much in favor of the universal payment of aid.

On the contrary, 36.6 percent said they are opposed to expanding the scope of recipients beyond the bottom 70 percent income bracket.

The remaining 5.2 percent refused to answer or said they did not have an opinion. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.

The government recently announced a plan to pay 1 million won ($820) to four-person households in the bottom 70 percent income bracket in May following the April 15 parliamentary elections.

But political parties are calling for universal payment of the relief funds.

Last Sunday, Hwang Kyo-ahn, the chief of the main opposition United Future Party, proposed granting disaster relief funds of 500,000 won each to the entire population of 51.5 million people. The following day, the ruling Democratic Party proposed paying 1 million won to all households.

Realmeter said support for universal payment of relief funds was expressed among all regions, age groups and political supporters. “Citizens in Seoul, in particular, are evenly divided over the issue, while more than half of those in their 20s voiced opposition to the expansion of beneficiaries.”

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