Gov't Seeks to Stimulate Spending by Increasing Holidays

In a bid to bolster consumer spending, the government is considering substituting holidays that fall on a weekend during the workweek, as well as ensuring that public holidays do not fall on a Saturday or Sunday. It remains to be seen whether the measure will be implemented, since it is being welcomed by wage earners but not by business owners, who fear it will dent productivity.

An official at the Ministry of Strategy and Finance said on Wednesday the plans are under consideration among other ways to boost domestic consumption.

Substitute holidays add a day off on Friday or Monday if the holiday falls on a Saturday or Sunday.  Another measure being considered involves designating a certain day, instead of a rigid set date, so that a holiday does not end up falling on a weekend. For example, Children's Day could be shifted from May 5 to the second Monday of that month.

The government would apply that rule only to holidays with relatively low religious or patriotic significance, such as Children's Day or Memorial Day.

englishnews@chosun.com / Jul. 21, 2011 12:59 KST