Citizens of South Korea’s COVID-19-hit Gyeonggi Province to receive Disaster Subsidy

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Provincial Governor Lee Jae-myung announced that his government will provide cash subsidy to all citizens from April  

By Sang Ki Lee

Mr. Lee Jae-myung, Governor of Gyeonggi Province, Republic of Korea, said that they will be providing the basic income to all the citizens promptly.

Provincial Government announced on 24th that they will be providing disaster subsidy starting from April about $81 per person (about 100,000 won) and $324 (400,000 won) per household based on four people.

They officially declared the introduction of “Gyeonggi province disaster subsidy”.

The support is available for all Gyeonggi province citizens. All people will receive disaster subsidy, regardless of income or age.

As of the end of February 2020, Gyeonggi province has a population of 13,265,377, which is about 25% of the population in South Korea. A total of $ 1,078 million (approximately 1,326 billion won) will be input. Until now, several local governments such as South Gyeongsang province, Daejeon and Daegu have decided to introduce disaster subsidy, but Gyeonggi province is the first to provide subsidy to the entire population.

Governor Lee Jae-Myeong’s declaration on the introduction of basic subsidy for disasters is expected to play a role as priming water of the argument for providing basic income for disasters at the central government level. While more than 13.26 million people, which are about 25% of the population, will benefit, the central government, is now in a position to consider positively.

At the same time, we could also be a role model to foreign countries like US, China, UK, and Singapore and so on. Especially in the United States, economist Paul Krugman offered a so-called “helicopter drop” proposal as a last resort to lift the economy in the past 1968. This is a method of raising the economy by providing cash to all the people by the “helicopter drop” plan.

Recently, the economy has been severely affected by the Corona 19 crisis, and American economists have been insisting for the need of a “helicopter drop”. Representatives include Gregory Mankiw, a professor at Harvard University, famous for the economics of Mankiw, and a professor at New York University, Roubini, who predicted the financial crisis.

Indeed, Lubini, New York University professor states, “Providing all U.S. residents with a helicopter drop at $ 1,000 each will be the most effective policy to mitigate the impact of the economic downturn.”

Gyeonggi province’s method is indicating “Since it is very difficult to select those who need money, and it can cause many problems, we are with the same will with America’s case of giving $1,000 to all population as soon as possible, can work as a good start.”

Gyeonggi province was able to reduce time and administrative costs according to the classification of the target by providing subsidy to all population.

The most distinctive feature of Gyeonggi province disaster basic subsidy is that support is provided to all provincial residents. Precisely, anyone registered as a resident in Gyeonggi province from 12:00 p.m. on the 23rd to the date of application will be able to receive it. Even if the amount is not large, it is expected to make a considerable contribution to shrinking households and consumption promotion.

South Gyeongsang province, Daegu, Daejeon, Gangwon province, and Jeonju city, etc., which have adopted the basic disaster subsidy policy, will provide basic subsidy based on people’s overall income.

The payment procedure for Gyeonggi province disaster subsidy is very simple. You only need to confirm your identity at the administrative welfare center in your district. You can receive the full amount immediately on behalf of all household members.

Disaster income will be paid in local currency that will expire three months after the payment date. The area of use was limited to department stores, marts, and supermarkets in the regions of Gyeonggi province, in order to make money circulate in Gyeonggi province. Gyeonggi province believes that this will simultaneously contribute to “household support” and “increase in sales of businesses and small businesses.”

Governor Lee Jae-Myeong said, “Although It is a small amount and one shot, but I hope that Gyeonggi province disaster basic subsidy will trigger a discussion on basic income at the national level and establish a new policy suitable for a new era.”

On the other hand, Governor Lee Jae-myeong has received public support before and after the introduction of “Gyeonggi-province type basic subsidy” by playing a crucial role in preventing COVID-19 from spreading, leading to minimize outbreaks in Gyeonggi province through the seizure and closure of the Sincheonji Church, which infected thousands of patients in the Daegu, North Gyeongsang province region through the Daegu assembly in late February. As of the 25th, the COVID-19, which has 403,806 confirmed and 18,230 dead in 198 countries worldwide, requires ever more authenticity, wisdom and the role of all leaders. This is why people are paying attention to the governor of Gyeonggi province adjacent to capital of Korea, Seoul.

(The writer is one of the most senior journalists of South Korea and founding President of Asia Journalists Association)

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