SEOUL (XINHUA) – South Korea yesterday proposed a budget of KRW639 trillion (USD475.2 billion) for 2023 in the lowest fiscal spending growth in six years.
The proposed budget was endorsed at the Cabinet meeting, according to the Ministry of Economy and Finance.
It was up 5.2 per cent from this year’s budget of KRW607.7 trillion (USD452 billion), marking the lowest gain in six years since 2017.
The 2023 proposal represented a six per cent fall compared to this year’s total fiscal expenditure of KRW679.5 trillion (USD505.4 billion) including two rounds of supplementary budgets.
The budget proposal was planned to be submitted on Friday to the National Assembly for approval. The government of President Yoon Suk-yeol, who took office in May, had vowed to adopt an austerity policy after an expansionary fiscal spending was kept in place under the previous government to tackle an economic downturn from the COVID-19 pandemic.
For the austerity policy, the Yoon government will slash non-core fiscal expenditure by a record KRW24 trillion (USD17.8 billion) next year.
Fiscal deficit in 2023 was estimated at KRW58.2 trillion (USD43.3 billion), or 2.6 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP). It almost halved compared to this year’s deficit estimate of KRW110.8 trillion (USD82.4 billion), or 5.1 per cent of the GDP.