Moon calls for complementary measures for minimum wage hike and shorter working hours

Dec 18, 2018, 08:47 am

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President Moon Jae-in speaks at an extended meeting of economy-related ministers on Monday./ Source: Yonhap News

By AsiaToday reporters Lee Seok-jong

President Moon Jae-in on Monday called for the government’s complementary measures for its minimum wage hike and workweek cut policies if needed, during an extended meeting of economy-related ministers.

The president’s remark indicates that his government may slow down the pace of some key policies, including the minimum wage hike and shortening of working hours, while maintaining his “income-led growth” policy initiative. 

The meeting was the first of its kind under Moon’s presidency.

“It is important that new economic policies such as the minimum wage hike and cutting weekly working hours should be pursued under a general consensus based on the acceptance of the economy and society as well as the situations of the people concerned,” Moon said. 

In particular, Moon ordered that the government actively promotes social dialogue and compromise with the Economic, Social & Labor Council taking a leading role. 

Along with slowing down the pace of his core economic policy, Moon also expressed his willingness to focus on policies to boost economic revitalization in order to give visible results to the public.

“The government must show the people the economic outcome of the policies next year,” he said. “Although we may not be able to drastically change the economy within the five-year term, we must give the people hope and confidence that the country’s economic policies are heading in the right direction.”

Regarding measures to boost economic vitality, Moon said, “The public and private sectors should expand investment creating new business opportunities so that a start-up boom can take place. We also need to improve the management conditions of the self-employed and small business owners through extension of consumption.”  

“In order to improve the lives of the public, we have to create more quality jobs and resolve difficulties the people, small business owners and and the self-employed are facing,” he said. “Industry-wise, we need to enhance the competitiveness of our conventional industries, such as car manufacturing and shipbuilding, while introducing industrial policies to find next-generation growth areas and new businesses at the same time.”

Regarding the regulatory reform, Moon said, “The government should not just wait, but aggressively remove hurdles to corporate investment.”

#minimum wage #workweek #Moon Jae-in #income-led growth 
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