Criticism continued that the sharp cut in the defense budget would lower the level of military power and welfare for the soldiers.
From the 17th, the National Assembly began deliberation of the 59 trillion won additional supplementary budget (additional budget) submitted by the new government in earnest. The Strategy and Finance Committee (the Finance Committee) criticized the errors in the tax revenue estimate from both the opposition and the ruling party, and the National Defense Commission also criticized that the national defense budget cut to raise additional funds could lower the military strength and the welfare level of the enlisted men. This continued.
At the Ministry of Strategy and Finance, as the government formulated the second supplementary budget this year, the tax revenue revision reflecting the excess tax revenue of 53.3 trillion won came to the fore. Specifically, criticisms from the ruling party as well as the opposition have followed over the reliability of the tax revenue forecast.
Democratic Party lawmaker Yang Kyung-sook raised his voice, saying, “The Ministry of Finance, which does not know how to estimate tax revenue, does not have basic qualifications as a financial authority.”
Democratic Party lawmaker Woo Won-shik also claimed, “I deceived the people’s taxes as if they were offering real products to the new government. I think it’s a ‘financial coup’.”
There were also bitter voices from the ruling party. People’s Power Rep. Ryu Seong-geol (Donggu-gap, Daegu) pointed out, “We also created a new tax revenue estimate model and greeted, but to say that (error) comes out like this means that there are still many shortcomings.”
In response, Choo Kyung-ho, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Finance (Daegu Dalseong-gun) promised improvement, saying, “In fact, it is difficult to understand that there is such an error.”
In addition, Deputy Prime Minister Choo said, “I have no intention of making an additional budget this year unless there is a massive unemployment due to a huge outbreak of Corona 19 again or a huge economic shock from outside.”
The National Defense Commission raised concerns about the massive (1.6 trillion won) cut in the Ministry of National Defense budget in the process of restructuring the appropriation to raise additional funds.
Democratic Party lawmaker Kim Min-ki said, “The Ministry of National Defense was the first to receive a preemptive blow. When I did that, the Ministry of National Defense budget was cut off. The Ministry of National Defense has been caught.”
Democratic Party lawmaker Kim Jin-pyo pointed out that the budget for the improvement of 18 catering establishments, which are affiliated facilities in the military dormitory, was cut by 56%. He said, “These days, the new generation of soldiers want to eat jjolmyeon, hamburgers, Korean food, etc. Choosing this is an important direction to improve the soldiers’ dietary life, but they are not able to do this business.”
Representative Kang Dae-sik (Donggu-eul, Daegu), a member of the ruling party, also said, “This is not the first time that the defense budget has been cut into chunks every additional budget. Even if it is criticized for not being organized, there is nothing to say.”
In response to this point, Defense Minister Lee Jong-seop said, “The production capacity of the soldiers’ bulletproof helmets is limited and the budget is inevitably in a situation where it is impossible to execute the budget. This is not going,” he explained.