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National Assembly passes record US$ 515 bil. budget for 2022 Updated: 2021-12-03 09:48:25 KST

A couple of hours ago, the South Korean parliament has passed a record budget for next year.
The budget amounts to over 515 billion U.S. dollars, with much of the money going into pandemic recovery.
For more on this, we have our Lee Kyung-eun on the line.
Kyung-eun, this is by far the biggest budget, right?

That's right, Mok-yeon.
The 2022 budget is worth some 5-hundred-15 billion U.S. dollars.
That's around 2.8 billion dollars. more than the government's initial proposal, and the biggest one ever.
More than one-tenth of the budget some FIFTY SEVEN billion U.S. dollars is actually going into helping small businesses hit by the pandemic.
First by direct compensation with a minimum of 425 dollars.
Second by boosting domestic consumption by rolloing out 25 billion dollars local currency coupons.

The budget for antivirus health care was also increased from 1.1 billion dollars to nearly 6 billion dollars.
The money will be used to secure anti-viral pills. for some 400-thousand people, and add 4-thousand hospital beds for severely ill patients.
As to prevent another urea water solution shortage, the government set aside an emergency fund to be used in securing urea and other raw materials in emergency situations.

Kyung-eun, the budget was supposed to be passed last night, what caused the delay?

That's right, Thursday was the legal deadline for the passage.
But negotiations between the rival parties went on until the last minute, causing a delay in the computation work at the Finance Ministry.
But the National Assembly speaker Park Byeong-seug said it should technically be counted as "within the deadline."

At the center of the controversy, is some. 6 million dollars of the Defense Ministry's budget, that will go towards building the country's first light aircraft carrier.
The Navy. has sought to build a 30,ton carrier.. by 2033 to ramp up deterrence and long-range operational capability.

The main opposition People Power Party said. such an expensive project should be left for the next administration to consider. when it takes office in May.
However, the ruling Democratic Party. maintained that the project cannot be delayed any further.

That's all for now, back to you Mok-yeon.
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