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Calls for basic income subsidy support grow

Provincial governors and mayors urged the central government Saturday to shoulder the cost of basic income subsidies to help citizens.

“It is imperative for the (central) government to take more aggressive and proactive measures to bring the society‘s safety net back to normal,” the Governors Association of Korea, composed of the heads of 17 local governments, said in a proposal to Korea‘s central government.

“Facing a national emergency, the (central) government should play a central role in providing subsidies to people.”

This comes amid local governments’ race to come up with subsidy plans, in an effort to minimize the coronavirus’ spillover to people’s livelihood.

In March, the Seoul Metropolitan Government laid out plans to distribute cash-equivalent coupons worth up to 500,000 won ($409.8) each to some 1.17 million households. Gyeonggi Province, home to some 13.5 million population, also unveiled a plan to send out 100,000 won coupons to every citizen.

Korea’s central government, while devising a 100 trillion won stimulus package plan in an unconventional move to prop up the economy, remains cautious on direct financial support to households.

By Son Ji-hyoung (