South Korea Passes $49.5 Billion Supplementary Budget Ahead of Local Elections | Business and economy

The additional budget will fund support for small businesses and the self-employed affected by pandemic-related restrictions.

South Korea’s National Assembly on Sunday approved a 62 trillion won ($49.5 billion) supplementary budget aimed at supporting businesses affected by pandemic-related restrictions.

The amount approved was 2.6 trillion won ($2 billion) more than the 59.4 trillion won announced last month and will be used primarily for cash distributions to small businesses and the self-employed to compensate losses incurred due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Ministry of Finance said.

The extra spending comes after South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol pledged to compensate 5.5 million small business owners for pandemic-related losses shortly before he took office on May 10.

The extra budget also comes as the country is due to hold local elections on June 1, when South Koreans will vote for mayors and provincial governors.

The ministry said in a statement that it would not issue any bonds to fund the budget, but instead would use tax revenue from existing spending plans.

South Korea in April lifted almost all pandemic restrictions, including a curfew for bars, restaurants and cafes, as part of the country’s transition to life with the coronavirus.

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