On November 6, Seoul Metropolitan Government disclosed the contents of the 2014 budget. This is the third annual budget that I drew up as Mayor of Seoul. It took a really difficult process, including arduous course of negotiation and coordination, to draw up the 2014 budget.
Despite various difficulties, we at Seoul Metropolitan Government did our best not to overlook what is essentially needed, like a housewife going about the business of setting household affairs. “What is essentially needed” refers to people’s everyday lives, factors that will enhance Seoul’s competitiveness and preparations for the future.
The New Year’s budget focuses on people and their everyday lives, future, and welfare as well as culture/arts and reduction of Seoul Metropolitan Government’s debts.
We submitted the New Year’s budget (24,504.2 billion won) with a 4.2% (or 997.3 billion won) y-o-y increase to the Seoul Metropolitan Council.
Looking at the details of said budget, the budget for social welfare accounts for 32% of the entire budget and 14.9% (or 6,907.7 billion) y-o-y increase. To take care of ordinary people’s everyday lives, we plan to spend 6,907.7 billion won on welfare expansion and 140.3 billion won on programs for increasing jobs. The budget also reflects plans for the construction of 80,000 rental apartments, increase of public child care centers, and provision of free lunch to students.
Other welfare areas where the budget will be spent include: guarantee of subsistence level of living (1,514.0 billion won); basic pension paid to senior citizens, provision of free meals to senior citizens from low-income households, and provision of jobs to senior citizens (1,009.2 billion won); expansion of free child care service (1,301.4 billion won); construction of public rental apartments (824.2 billion won); roads and transportation (1,762.6 billion won); parks/environment (1,643.9 billion won), and; urban safety (875.7 billion won).
Regarding culture/arts areas, the budget will be spent for the following: formation of creative spaces for children (40 billion won); invigoration of creative & performing arts (66 billion won), and; culture/arts/sports (508.8 billion won). In addition, a total of 50.3 billion won is earmarked for 223 programs designed to encourage people’s participation.
In drawing up the 2014 budget, we considered the following areas, which can bring about noticeable effects with a small amount of spending: human rights center for the handicapped; installation of subway safety platform for the handicapped; power charge concerning joint facilities in publ…