The Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) has obtained the central government’s approval and completed the business model design for its Safety Income program, a new five-year welfare policy experiment poised to start next year.
Under the Safety Income program, 800 households with income that is 85% or less of the standard median income will be paid 50% of the income amount below 85% of the standard median income every month over three years. The SMG will monitor and analyze the program’s efficacy by selecting comparison groups to evaluate the pre and post-implementation status over a period of five years, including the support period of three years.
The SMG has been closely consulting with the central government in the course of designing the program’s pilot operation, and ultimately obtained the central government’s official approval. As much as so, the SMG, based on effective consultation with the Seoul Metropolitan Council, will promote the successful implementation of the pilot operation starting next year.
The Safety Income program is an income security system in the concept of “generous below and stingy on top” where the city government partially supports the insufficient income of households that falls below the standard income in order to guarantee citizens’ life worthy of human dignity. This is also Mayor Oh Se-hoon’s key election pledge. This welfare system of the future was designed to promote fairness and shared growth to alleviate the income bipolarization and prepare for the job market diversification in the era of low growth without employment. The SMG expects that the Safety Income program will play a role to make the public social security network stronger by filling up the gaps in the existing social security system.
The SMG will promote the pilot operation of the Safety Income program by selecting 800 households with income of 85% or less of the standard median income (lower 33% income brackets) and property amount of KRW 326 million or less. The selected households will be paid 50% of the income amount that is below 85% of the standard median income, which is an amount calculated by subtracting the household income from 85% of the standard median income, monthly over three years. In order to preferentially support the low-income class that is in greater need of economic assistance, the SMG will select 500 households with income below 50% of the standard median income in 2022 (lower 25% income brackets) and 300 households with income between 50% and 85% of the standard median income in 2023.
The SMG will precisely verify the effects of the program’s pilot operation over the next five years, including the support period of three years. Comparison groups (1,000 households for the first round, and 600 households for the second round) will be selected to compare the status before and after the program implementation.