Gov’t subsidies to private organizations surged during Moon presidency: Yoon office

SEOUL– Government subsidies to private organizations soared during the preceding Moon Jae-in administration, with the annual total exceeding 5 trillion won (US$3.94 billion), the presidential office said Wednesday.

The office estimated government subsidies paid to various civic groups, associations, foundations, welfare facilities and other nonprofit private organizations from 2016 to 2022 amounted to 31.4 trillion won.

The annual volume surged from 3.56 trillion won in 2016 to 5.45 trillion won this year, it noted, adding there was an annual average increase of about 400 billion won during the Moon presidency. Moon served a single term from 2017 to 2022.
The number of private organizations receiving government subsidies also increased from 22,881 in 2016 to 27,215 this year, marking a seven-year increase of 4,334.

Announcing the results of an interim survey, Lee Kwan-sup, senior presidential secretary for policy and planning, said the government plans to conduct a thorough inspection into all its subsidies to the private sector by next June to come up with measures to improve their transparency.

“The Yoon Suk Yeol government has selected enhancing the transparency of subsidies to nonprofit private organizations as a key policy task,” said Lee, citing instances of the opaque use of government subsidies and donations by some civic groups dedicated to supporting victims of Japan’s wartime sexual slavery.

Transparency improvement measures will be devised on the basis of the planned full inspection of the private sector subsidies, Lee explained.

In this regard, another senior official at the presidential office said any inappropriate conduct by public officials will also come under scrutiny and criminal investigations can be requested depending on the case.

Yoon ordered a complete overhaul of the government’s subsidy distribution system during a Cabinet meeting Tuesday, saying he will not tolerate any act of using government subsidies for private interests rather than public goals.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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