Korean Presidential Candidate Moon Vows 10 Trillion Won Stimulus

  • Moon comes out ahead of Ahn with figure for extra budget
  • Ahn and Moon face off in May 9 election after Park impeached

South Korean presidential front-runner Moon Jae-in vowed to implement a 10 trillion won ($8.9 billion) extra budget to foster areas including job creation, startup firms and small to mid-sized companies.

The number is broadly in line with expectations from private economists and follows Bank of Korea Governor Lee Ju-yeol saying earlier this year that fiscal spending wasn’t accommodative enough.

The administration of Park Geun-hye set out a budget of about 400 trillion won for this year, an increase of less than one percent from 2016, before her impeachment last month.

Moon leads Ahn Cheol-soo by 40 percent to 37 percent in the race to be elected president on May 9, according a Gallup Korea poll released on April 14. Ahn has yet to make a specific pledge regarding an extra budget.

“A budget above 10 trillion won sounds quite feasible,” said Park Hee-chan, an economist at Mirae Asset Daewoo Co. Tax revenue is growing strongly and the government is likely to move out of deficit, he said.

Moon’s extra spending covers 13 areas, which also includes creating 810,000 jobs in the public sector and raising the level of the minimum wage, according to a statement from Moon’s camp on Monday.

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