May 02, 2019 10:09
Koreans are finding it increasingly difficult to make ends meet after several of the Moon Jae-in administration's "income-led" growth policies backfired.
The Korea Economic Research Institute polled 1,000 adults for the Chosun Ilbo across the country last week, and 58.9 percent said it has become even more difficult to make ends meet since Moon came to power, up from 28.8 percent a year ago.
The proportion who said they are afraid their finances will become even tighter rose from 25.4 to 48.8 percent over the same period, including 31.9 percent who fear it will get worse "to an extreme degree," compared to a mere eight percent last year.
In contrast, those who felt conditions will improve dwindled from 33 to 25.5 percent.
Some 61.5 percent said the job market has grown worse since Moon became president, up from 51.6 last year. Unemployment remains high now the minimum wage has increased in the double digits.
The survey also showed that the income gap widened to a new record. The proportion whose income rose grew from 20.9 to 34 percent, with 21 percent saying it rose more than 10 percent, compared to 8.2 percent a year ago.
But at the same time some 45.8 percent said their income has shrunk, up from only 26.2 percent, and those who said it shrank more than 10 percent soared from 17.8 to 31.1 percent.
Shin Se-don at Sookmyung Women’s University said, "The fact that more than half of Koreans feel that it has become tougher to make ends meet is evidence that the Moon administration's policy of income-led growth has had an adverse impact. Excessive minimum-wage hikes, shortened work hours and various pension and tax burdens are hurting the economy."
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