National debt per capita could pass ￦20 million this year
The national debt per capita is expected to surpass 20 million won ($16,800) for the first time this year after seven supplementary budgets have been spent since 2020 in an effort to stimulate the economy during the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to the National Assembly Budget Office, the per capita national debt was 18.6 million won as of Sunday. The per capita national debt is the total national debt — 961.6 trillion won — divided by the registered population of Korea — 51.7 million as of August 2021.
The national debt per capita is likely to surpass 20 million won this year, taking into account the 10 trillion won of government bonds that will need to be issued to finance the deficit incurred if this year’s first supplementary budget is passed.
A record 607.7–trillion-won budget was passed on Dec. 3, and a 14-trillion-won supplementary budget is already pending a decision from the National Assembly.
Adding these two numbers up, the national debt would come to 1.064 quadrillion won this year. Divided by the registered population, the per capita national debt comes to 20.8 million won.
The national debt per capita surpassed 10 million won for the first time in 2014, standing at 10.4 million won.
It increased by less than 1 million won each year until it reached 14 million won in 2019 and then jumped up 17.1 percent on-year in 2020 to 16.3 million won.
The national debt has increased by 400 trillion won from 660.2 trillion won since the Moon Jae-in administration took office in 2017.
It has drawn up nine supplementary budgets so far, six of them related to Covid-19. The other three were: 11 trillion won to create jobs in 2017, 3.9 trillion won to create jobs for young people and support rural regions in 2018 and 5.8 trillion won to deal with fine dust and other economic deficits.
Additional supplementary budgets are highly probable due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and the presidential vote set to take place in March.
The new president has typically set the tone for their political agenda by drawing up a supplementary budget within months of their inauguration. For instance, the Moon government submitted its first supplementary budget plan to the National Assembly one month after taking office and former President Park Geun-hye filed hers in two months.
The government plans to release details of its extra budget plan this week.
BY YOON SO-YEON [email@example.com]