South Korea's finance chief said Thursday that the government will increase spending on job creation by more than 10 percent in 2018 as part of its efforts to help raise income levels of ordinary people.
"The government will set aside some 12 percent more money to boost employment in next year's budget and increase the minimum wage to guarantee people proper income," Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon said in a minister-level policy meeting in Seoul. "The move is aimed at cementing household gains through expanding earned income."
The top economic policymaker said deepening income disparity in South Korea may pose a threat to Asia's fourth-largest economy, which seems to be entering a low growth cycle.
Job creation is one of the top priorities by new President Moon Jae-in, who has embraced consumption-led economic growth as his main economic goal.
The finance ministry also said that the government will announce comprehensive measures next month to tackle the rapidly rising household debt.
"It is not an issue that can be solved in a short period of time," said Kim. "We need more time to draw up thorough and comprehensive measures."
The latest central bank data showed that South Korea's household debt continued its upside mode in the second quarter to nearly reach 1,400 trillion won.
The data came weeks after the government released a set of financial restrictions last month to cool down the overheated housing market. It designated Seoul and other cities as "overheated speculative districts" to set up hurdles for money borrowers, while it made multiple-home owners pay higher capital gain taxes when they sell their houses. (Yonhap)