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S. Korean gov't rolls out first COVID-19 economic relief package Updated: 2020-02-28 16:15:45 KST

The government is injecting its 16 billion U.S. dollars of emergency funds to help ease the burden that the outbreak is having on the economy.

"As well as these emergency funds, the government will use its supplementary budget to help people and businesses across all industries suffering due to the outbreak."

He added that although the size of this supplementary budget is yet to be confirmed, it will definitely be larger than the extra budget during the MERS outbreak in 2015, which was little over 5-billion dollars.
And that extra budget bill, according to Hong, will be sent to parliament next week.
As widely expected, the government is also reintroducing the so-called "spending coupons" which were last used in 2009.
They will be introduced in five areas including tourism and family care to encourage consumption.
If workers take family care leave to look after their children under eight years old, the government will provide up to 4-hundred dollars per couple.
Vacation coupons worth up to 330 dollars will be dished out to around 120-thousand people traveling within the country in the latter half of the year.
And tax on car purchases will be cut by 70 percent.
The government will also continue to support small businesses by allowing more people to take out loans.
On Thursday, the finance minister also pledged to share the cost of rent discounts with landlords during the first half of the year.
To lift the rent burden on small businesses and merchants, so-called "kind landlords" nationwide are voluntarily collecting less rent from their small business tenants.
The government's plan is to give landlords a tax deduction of 50 percent of the discount they give their tenants.
This will apply regardless of the landlord's total income or the size of the rent discount.
To tighten quarantine measures against the virus, the government will hand out seven million free masks in Daegu and in Cheongdo, Gyeongsangbuk-do province.
Kim Dami, Arirang News.
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