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South Korea's 2017 budget reaches $360 billion

Staff Writer |
South Korea's budget plan topped 400 trillion won ($360 billion) for the first time on the back of rising welfare demand, a government report showed.

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The government-proposed budget plan for 2017 was 400.7 trillion won, up 14.3 trillion won, or 3.7 percent, from the previous year, according to the Ministry of Strategy and Finance. It was faster growth than a 2.9 percent increase for this year.

The cabinet meeting was held to fix the 2017 budget bill that would be submitted to the National Assembly on Friday.

If approved, the 2017 budget would more than quadruple in the past two decades. South Korea's national budget topped 100 trillion won in 2001, rising to 200 trillion won in 2005 and 300 trillion won in 2011.

Budget for welfare, health and labor would surpass 130 trillion won for the first time, up 5.3 percent from the previous year. The welfare budget's portion kept a record-breaking trend at 32.4 percent of the total.

Allotted budget for job creation would increase 10.7 percent, with those for youths jumping 15 percent.

Gross national income is forecast at 414.5 trillion won for 2017, up 6 percent from a year earlier. Among them, national revenue is expected to rise 8.4 percent to 241.8 trillion won.

The government set its outlook for 2017 real gross domestic product (GDP) growth at 3.0 percent.

Government debts are projected to reach 683 trillion won in 2017, up 38 trillion won from a year ago. The ratio of government debts to GDP is expected to rise from 40.1 percent to 40.4 percent next year.

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