After long and difficult discussions, the Seoul Metropolitan Government submitted its budget (plan) for 2015, totaling KRW 25.55 trillion, to Seoul Metropolitan Council. And I dare say that it is a “Strong and Solid Budget” that strengthens areas related to the quality of life and the future of Seoul citizens, and solidifies safety, the foundation of our city.
Seoul’s 2015 “Strong and Solid Budget” focuses on largely four aspects: ① urban safety, ② tailored welfare, ③ a creative economy, and ④ urban foundation.
Prioritizing the life and safety of our citizens, we have increased our safety budget by 22% (KRW 212.7 billion) to KRW 1.18 trillion. A total of KRW 134.5 billion will be invested in surveying, repairing, and reinforcing old sewage pipes to handle issues related to sunken roads, and this year, KRW 3 billion was set aside for the management of vents for the first time.
Budget for welfare recipients, including low income households, child rearing households, and the elderly, has grown by KRW 1.702 trillion, a 15.6% increase compared to last year, to a total of KRW 7.91 trillion. This accounts for 34.6% of the entire budget, and KRW 19 billion will be invested in changing community service centers from “administrative task-centered” organizations to “welfare beneficiary-centered” institutions. These are part of the efforts to prevent the occurrence of recent incidents, such as the suicide of a mother and two daughters at Songpa, and to provide “field-focused visiting welfare service.”
In terms of the economy, we have set aside a total budget of KRW 459.6 billion to focus on stabilizing the lives of our people and creating jobs, and also to make concentrated investments in establishing eight bases of a creative economy.
To increase Seoul’s competitiveness and sustainability as a global city, the city will invest KRW 1.758 trillion in urban infrastructure, with the budget for railroads and roads accounting for KRW 929.5 billion. This is an increase of KRW 184.3 billion, or 11.7%, compared to last year.
Through the difficult times, our budget had been dramatically reduced. However, we are boldly investing our capital to improve the quality of life of our citizens and to increase the competitiveness of Seoul. And I dare say that this budget is a divine move, securing all of our welfare and focusing on future investment while reducing debt. Don’t you agree?