NABO Fiscal Trends and Issues (Autumn Edition)
I. Key Fiscal Indicators
The progress rates for total revenue and total expenditure up to August 2017 are 70.8% and 68.8%, respectively. Also, although the consolidated central government balance (17.4 trillion Korean won surplus) improved by 1.6 trillion won yoy thanks to the increase in total revenue up to August 2017, central government debt (640.2 trilion won) increased by 48.3 trillion since the end of 2016, due to reasons such as increased treasury bond issues.
Ⅱ. [Special Report] An Analysis of Major Fiscal Issues
An analysis of major fiscal issues for the third quarter of 2017 was conducted, on ‘the current status of major discussions and fiscal programs related to income-led growth’ as well as ‘the current status of fiscal programs on wage labor costs.’
The government has set “income-led growth” as a new paradigm and incorporated this initiative in next year’s budget plan in an attempt to utilize increased household income as a new driver of growth. This report provides an introduction to the positive and negative perspectives of this initiative in a balanced manner, along with the suggestion that individual fiscal programs need to be meticulously analyzed in the future.
The expenditure volume for fiscal programs in terms of wage labor costs in 2018 is 81.4 trillion won including tax expenditures, providing the expected status of wage labor cost fiscal programs over the past 10 years, along with an analysis of wage labor cost expenditures for next year’s budget plan by category.
Ⅲ. Major Fiscal Issues
The quarterly report on fiscal issues for the 3rd quarter of 2017 provides the main content of the 2018 budget plan, major fiscal programs that are noteworthy, major finance-related plans and an evaluation report.
In this section, measures taken after the reinforced support for persons of independence merit and national merit as well as the minimum wage increase among the 2018 budget plan are introduced along with an analysis. Such measures include labor cost support payments for vulnerable businesses, a leave support system for laborers, strengthened health insurance coverage, a pay increase for conscript soldiers, expanded new renewable energy supplies and the introduction of a child allowance.
In terms of major finance-related plans and evaluation reports, an overview of the 2018 Comprehensive Plan for Contribution Management and the Medium-to-Long Term Financial Management Plan for Public Institutions, which were submitted to the National Assembly, is provided; along with the contents of the 2017 Report on National Treasury Support Projects.
Ⅳ. Overseas Fiscal Trends
Outstanding issues are introduced regarding inclusive growth which is an agenda item highlighted at the G20 Summit, the three-month extension on US debt ceiling as well as the Japanese 2018 budget proposal; along with their respective implications on Korean fiscal conditions.