Budget for next year increased by 5.7% to KRW 376 trillion, strong will for pump-priming despite financial integrity faltering

Yoo Seon-il Sep 19, 2014

Next year’s budget has been drawn up to a scale of KRW 376 trillion, which increased by 5.7% from this year. This implies the government’s strong will to stimulate the economy by implementing expansionary financial operation as much as possible. In particular, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MoLIT) expressed a strong will to promote social overhead capital (SOC) investment expansion and local construction economy activation by allocating KRW 22.7049 trillion, which increased by 8.6% from KRW 20.9117 trillion this year, and, at the same time, to produce visible outcomes of creative economy by allocating KRW 1.2 trillion, which increased by 17.1%, to strengthening support to business start-ups and small and medium-scale companies and creating new markets and industries for creative economy. However, there are voices of concern that the financial integrity may suffer as a financial deficit of KRW 33 trillion is forecast for next year together with the government debt exceeding KRW 570 trillion.

At the Cabinet meeting held under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Chung Hong-won on the 18th, the government confirmed a budget plan for 2015 and submission of the plan to the National Assembly by the 23rd.

The government decided a budget increase by 5.7% (KRW 20 trillion), which is larger than the initially planned 3.5% (KRW 12 trillion) from 2014. The increased KRW 8 trillion slightly exceeds the scale of an ordinary revised and supplementary expenditure (increase by KRW 5 trillion ? 6 trillion), according to the government.

The focus was placed on economy, safety and welfare. In particular, the government set out a policy to invest extensively in reviving the economy, which had been continuously emphasized since the inauguration of the Deputy Prime Minister Choi Gyeong-hwan for Economic Affairs. The goal is to increase economic vitality by expanding consumption and investment bases.

For successful funding support to small and medium businesses, the amount of politic finance was increased from KRW 92 trillion this year to KRW 97 trillion. In addition, the government will embark on remodeling private ? public industrial complexes by establishing ‘industrial complex innovation fund’ to a scale of KRW 26 billion. At the same time, it will allocate KRW 8.3 trillion to creative economy sector, and thus will promte the establishment of ‘Pangyo Creative Economy Valley.’ For R&D on the 13 growth powers including the fifth generation mobile communication, the government will invest KRW 1.0976 trillion, which increased by KRW 100 billion from this year.

The amount of budget for safety has been drastically increased from KRW 12.4 trillion this year to KRW 14.6 trillion. Through safety inspection, extensive maintenance and safety reinforcement of facilities will be administered using safety investment fund. The government will also invest KRW 100 billion in purchasing firefighting equipments, such as special fire engines and fire helicopters, for local governments and KRW 50 billion to unify disaster communication system for eight sectors including the police and fire stations.

For public health, welfare and labor, a budget of KRW 115.5 trillion was allocated, which is equivalent to 30.7% of the total budget amount. This is the first time the percentage of welfare budget exceeded 30%. The government will introduce livelihood stabilization support system for non-regular workers, the unemployed and low-paid workers. In addition, it will provide support fund to encourage conversion of temporary positions in small and medium companies to permanent positions.

The government explained that it had set out a policy for expansionary financial operation for the time being in order to achieve a leap from the risk of reducing equilibrium to expanding equilibrium. It forecasts that the gross income will increase by an annual average of 5.1% during 2014 ? 2018 and will manage the gross expenditures to increase at an annual average rate of 4.5%.

The issue is financial integrity. Expansionary budget is associated with a problem of damaging financial integrity. The government predicted that the financial deficit next year will be as large as KRW 33.6 trillion. This is -2.1% of the GDP, which increased by 0.4% point from this year’s -1.7%, and the worst figure since -2.4% in 2010 immediately after the financial crisis. The government forecasts that the budget balance in comparison to GDP will recover gradually from -1.8% in 2016 to -1.3% in 2017 and to -1.0% in 2018. However, this means that it is difficult to achieve balanced budget not only during the term of the current government, but even until 2018, the first year of the next government.

“Above all else, we will increase safety budget to KRW 14.6 trillion in order to thoroughly inspect and improve schools and facilities that are vulnerable to disasters. In addition, we will increase the budget for creative economy by 17% including an expansion of budget for R&D on key industries by KRW 1 trillion,” said Prime Minister Chung Hong-won. “We anticipate that the budget increase will not only revive the economy based on the expansion of consumption and investment bases and bring changes towards safe society, but also stabilize the livelihood of the people by increasing real incomes for households.”

Yoo Seon-il | ysi@etnews.com

내년은 올해보다 5.7% 증가한 376조 슈퍼예산...재정건전 흔들려도 과감한 경기부양 의지

내년 예산안이 올해보다 5.7% 늘어난 376조원 규모로 편성됐다. 재정을 최대한 확장적으로 운용해 경기를 부양하겠다는 정부의 강력한 의지를 담고 있다. 특히 국토부는 올해 20조9117억원에 비해 내년에는 8.6% 늘어난 22조7049억원의 예산을 배당해 사회간접자본(SOC) 투자확대와 지역건설 경제 활성화에 나서는 한편, 창업벤처?중소기업 지원 강화와 창조경제형 신시장?신산업 창출을 위해 17.1% 증가한 1조2000억원을 배정, 창조경제의 가시적인 성과 도출에도 강한 의지를 내보였다. 하지만 내년 재정적자는 33조원, 국가채무는 570조원을 넘어설 것으로 예상되면서 재정 건전성이 악화될 것으로 우려됐다.

정부는 18일 정홍원 국무총리 주재로 열린 국무회의에서 이 같은 내용이 포함된 2015년 예산안을 확정하고 23일까지 국회에 제출하기로 했다.

정부는 당초 계획했던 2014년 대비 3.5%(12조원)보다 높은 5.7%(20조원) 증액을 결정했다. 늘어난 8조원은 통상적인 추경 지출 규모(5조~6조원 증액)를 웃도는 수준이라는 설명이다.

예산의 초점은 경제?안전?복지에 맞췄다. 특히 최경환 경제부총리 취임 후 지속 강조해온 경제 살리기에 집중 투자할 방침이다. 소비?투자 기반을 확충해 경제 활력을 높인다는 목표다.

중소기업의 원활한 자금 조달을 위해 정책금융을 올해 92조원에서 97조원으로 늘렸다. 260억원 규모 ‘산단혁신 펀드’를 조성해 민관 합동 산단 리모델링에 나선다. 창조경제에 8조3000억원을 배정해 ‘판교 창조경제 밸리’ 등을 조성한다. 5세대 이동통신 등 13대 성장동력 연구개발(R&D)에 올해보다 1000억원 늘어난 1조976억원을 투입힌다.

안전 예산은 올해 12조4000억원에서 14조6000억원으로 대폭 확대했다. 시설물 안전점검을 거쳐 안전투자 펀드 등을 활용해 대대적 보수?보강한다. 특수소방차, 소방헬기 등 지자체 소방장비 구입에 1000억원을 투입하고, 500억원을 투자해 경찰?소방 등 8개 분야 재난통신체계를 일원화한다.

보건?복지?노동 예산에는 115조5000억원을 배정했다. 총예산의 30.7%에 달하는 수치로, 복지 예산 비중이 30%를 넘은 것은 이번이 처음이다. 정부는 비정규직?실업자?저임금 근로자를 위한 생활안정 3종 지원 제도를 도입한다. 중소기업 비정규직의 정규직 전환을 유도하기 위해 지원금을 제공한다.

정부는 축소균형 위험에서 확대균형으로 도약하기 위해 당분간 재정을 확장적으로 운용할 방침이라고 설명했다. 2014~2018년 기간 총수입은 연평균 5.1% 증가할 것으로 내다봤으며 총지출은 연평균 4.5% 증가하도록 관리할 계획이다.

문제는 재정 건전성이다. 확장적인 예산은 재정 건전성을 훼손하는 문제가 있다. 정부는 내년 재정수지 적자가 33조6000억원에 이를 것으로 전망했다. GDP 대비 2.1% 적자로 올해 1.7%적자에서 0.4%포인트 늘어났다. 금융위기 직후인 2010년의 -2.4% 이후 가장 나쁜 수치다. 정부는 GDP 대비 재정수지가 2016년 -1.8%, 2017년 -1.3%, 2018년 -1.0%로 점차 회복될 것이라고 전망했지만 이는 현 정부는 물론이고 다음 정부 첫해인 2018년까지 균형재정이 어렵다는 의미다.

정홍원 총리는 “다른 어떤 분야보다 안전예산을 14조6000억원으로 대폭 늘려 학교와 재해취약시설을 전면 점검?정비하고 핵심?유망산업 R&D 1조원 확대 등 창조경제 예산을 17% 증액하겠다”며 “이를 통해 소비와 투자기반 확충으로 경제가 살아나고 국민 모두가 안전한 사회 변화를 체감함은 물론이고 가계의 실질소득 증대로 서민?중산층의 생활이 안정되는 효과가 기대된다”고 말했다.

유선일기자 | ysi@etnews.com

Interpretation & Translation_Service Center

Refund Help Center