Ruling party chief urges start of parliamentary talks on extra budget bill

By Yonhap
  • Published : Apr 13, 2018 - 11:49
  • Updated : Apr 13, 2018 - 11:49

The chief of the ruling Democratic Party appealed Friday for the start of parliamentary deliberations on the government proposal for a 3.9 trillion-won ($3.6 billion) supplementary budget aimed largely at creating jobs for young people.

The government submitted the proposal last Friday, hoping to secure parliamentary approval this month. But no talks on it have been held amid partisan squabbles over a set of contested bills and alleged missteps by the Financial Supervisory Service chief.

"It is a dereliction of duty not to even discuss the proposal for the extra budget in the face of the looming unemployment crisis," Choo Mi-ae, the party's leader, said during a session with top party officials.

Choo Mi-ae, the leader of the ruling Democratic Party, speaks during a party meeting at the National Assembly in Seoul on April 13, 2018. (Yonhap)

"Politics is to share people's sorrow and pave the way for hope, but it is very irresponsible of the opposition parties to neglect their duties and just behave like onlookers," she added.

Ruling party members sought to table the budget proposal at the National Assembly's financial committee in the morning but failed to do so amid objections from the main opposition Liberty Korea Party .

The government and ruling party argue that the current unemployment problem, if not properly handled, could lead to a "catastrophic situation."

The LKP rejected the argument, saying the budget proposal appears aimed at winning the hearts of young voters ahead of the June mayoral and gubernatorial elections.

It also claims that the government proposal conflicts with the National Finance Act, which stipulates an extra budget can be drawn up in such cases as massive natural disasters, economic recession, mass unemployment and crucial changes in cross-border relations.

The passage of the budget bill requires consent from a majority of the lawmakers present for a floor vote that needs at least half of all 293 lawmakers. The ruling party holds only 121 seats and needs opposition parties' backing for the spending approval.(Yonhap)