March 24, 2009

South Korea adds $20.7B to budget

The South Korean government added a $20.7 billion spending package to its budget Tuesday to stimulate the nation's slumping economy.

The supplemental spending, at 3 percent of the nation's gross domestic product, is the largest addition to the country's budget since 1998, the Yonhap news agency reported.

The global economic downturn is taking place at a faster pace than has been expected in terms of its depth and breadth, South Korean Finance Minister Yoon Jeung-hyun told reporters.

Reflecting changed economic conditions at home and abroad, the government decided to draw up this extra budget to overcome the current crisis as quickly as possible.

About $12.8 billion in the plan is to go toward additional spending, while $8.2 billion was earmarked for revenue shortfalls, the government said.

A total of $3 billion was targeted for low-income people in the form of cash, spending coupons or subsidized loans, while $2.5 billion was set aside to save or create jobs, Yonhap said.