[WORD_ON_THE_WEB] 'I am hesitant to start the engine of my car'

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[WORD_ON_THE_WEB] 'I am hesitant to start the engine of my car'

This year, the government is considering raising its consumer spending forecast from 2.2 percent to 4 percent, for the first time since 2011. 
The government proposes a price outlook twice a year and, considering that most price adjustment levels were within 1 percent, this adjustment is a very large one. International oil prices and grain prices are increasing as global supply chains have been disrupted due to the ongoing war in Ukraine.

The price of daily necessities such as diesel and flour have also been on the rise, with diesel prices rising to 45 percent while flour rose to 26 percent. Electricity, gas and water bills have also gone up. 
The restaurant and market basket price index has also gone up by 6 percent, increasing the burden on citizens. The government has come up with measures such as lowering tariffs on seven products such as cooking oil, pork and flour to 0 percent by the end of this year, but its effects are unknown.
“Gas prices have gone up way too much. It’s gotten to an extent where I am hesitant to start the engine of my car. I’m worried about this country’s economy and I’m struggling personally as well.”
“I’m glad I drive an electric vehicle, but I can’t be at ease because I don’t know when the charging prices could go up."
“I see now that the financial support that we received from the government due to the pandemic was never free money. Prices are currently soaring due to the war in Ukraine. Ordinary people and small business owners must overcome these difficult times.
“The first strike with Covid-19, the second strike with the war in Ukraine, and having the climate change crisis as the base of it all is going to make life more and more difficult. We’re each going to have to tighten our own belts.”
“The government has no countermeasures. What are they planning to do?”
“We’re not in a situation where we can blame each other for the mess we are in right now. For two years, prices have skyrocketed while the country dealt with the Covid-19 situation. The drought and forest fires have made people’s livelihoods worse and the gap between the rich and the poor has gotten bigger. Special measures to rescue the powerless common people are now needed more than ever.”

BY LEE SI-YEOUNG, LEE JUNG-JOO [lee.jungjoo@joongang.co.kr]
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