Three major parties agreed Monday to deliberate on a 11.2 trillion won (US$9.9 billion) extra budget bill, aimed at creating jobs for youth, party officials said, amid a lingering controversy over its legality.
The agreement came during a meeting involving National Assembly Speaker Chung Sye-kyun and the floor leaders of the ruling Democratic Party, and the minor opposition People's Party and Bareun Party. The main opposition Liberty Korea Party (LKP) did not join the meeting.
Opposition parties, led by the LKP, initially opposed the bill, saying that it does not meet legal requirements for the supplementary bill.
The National Finance Act stipulates that an extra budget can be drawn up in such cases as war or massive natural disasters, economic recession, mass unemployment and crucial changes in cross-border relations.
The government and ruling party, however, see the current situation as a case of mass unemployment.
The country's jobless rate hit a seven-year high of 5 percent in February and reached 4.2 percent in April, the highest ever rate for the month. In particular, the youth unemployment rate soared to an all-time high of 12.3 percent in February and stayed above the 11-percent range until April. (Yonhap)