Public opinion divided over 4th round of emergency handouts

Feb 04, 2021, 08:45 am

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Rep. Lee Nak-yon, head of the ruling Democratic Party (DP), speaks in a parliamentary speech at the National Assembly on Feb. 2, 2021./ Photographed by Lee Byung-hwa (photolbh@)

AsiaToday reporter Woo Sung-min

The payment method of the government’s fourth round of emergency handouts is receiving great attention, and it seems that citizens have mixed opinions on who should receive the aid.

AsiaToday found out that some claim that the government should provide selective aid only to those who have financial difficulties, while others claim that everyone should be paid equally. Some even claim that the government should not provide aid at all.

Interest in the fourth round of emergency coronavirus handouts has intensified when Rep. Lee Nak-yon, head of the ruling Democratic Party (DP), officially announced that the party will seek to pass an extra budget to provide a fourth round of pandemic relief funds. “The DP will prepare the fourth round of the disaster assistance fund. It will draw up a sufficient supplementary budget. It will discuss with the government on providing universal relief handouts to all households and additional assistance for those who have fallen victim to the pandemic,” Lee said in his parliamentary speech Tuesday.

People’s opinions are divided over the method of distributing disaster assistance fund. 

“The value of the assistance fund is different for the rich and the poor, even if the same amount is given,” said a 44-year-old Seoul resident surnamed Lee. “I think it is right to provide assistance fund only to those who are suffering economically, including self-employed and small business owners,” Lee added. 

“Since the self-employed are hit hard by the pandemic, the government should thoroughly figure out who are severely hit among the self-employed and small business owners and should selectively provide the relief fund to them,” said a 29-year-old Gyeonggi-do resident surnamed Seo.

“There are many people who really need disaster relief fund, and selective support is urgent,” said a 44-year-old Gyeonggi-do resident surnamed Kim.

On the other hand, some believe that disaster relief fund should be provided to everyone. “If the government decides to provide the fourth round of emergency relief fund, it should give it to all. Everyone is struggling and the relief fund should be given equally,” said a 33-year-old Seoul resident surnamed Choi, who runs a coffee shop.

“The standards are vague to decide who will receive the relief fund. Even considering the administrative expenses incurring in the selection process, it is better to give relief fund to everyone,” said a 36-year-old Seoul resident surnamed Park.

Some others even claim that the fourth round of disaster relief fund should not be provided at all due to financial issues. “Everyone is going through tough time now. Instead of the government providing relief fund, people need to spend less and endure hard times,” said a 73-year-old Seoul resident surnamed Park.

#4th emergency handouts #Lee Nak-yon #disaster relief fund 
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