野 The fourth legislative runaway… ‘Rich Benefit’ Act Giving 10,000 Won to College Students with 100 Million Yearly Annual Salary

Won “First of all, the less fortunate” 野 “Is 10,000 won a month populism?” One bill is being pushed. Following the so-called “Yellow Envelope Act (revised labor union law),” this fourth “legislative runaway” bill is the interest-free student loan law.

However, if this bill goes into effect, benefits will only go to university students from middle-class households with an annual income of over 100 million won. While it requires more than 80 billion won in finance, the financial profit is only about 10,000 won per person per month. It is controversial because it is not a bill that beneficiaries particularly want.

On the morning of February 13, graduates are celebrating their graduation by taking commemorative photos at the graduation ceremony for the College of Arts held at Chung-Ang University in Dongjak-gu, Seoul. /Chosun DB

Government “There is an equity problem with high school graduates and small business loans”

At the general meeting of the Education Committee on the 16th, the Democratic Party single-handedly processed the amendment to the ‘Special Act on Student Loan Repayment After Employment’, the so-called ‘Interest-Free Student Loan Act’. Education committee members belonging to the people’s power opposed the “populist bill” and did not participate in the vote.

The ‘interest-free student loan law’ is to exempt young people who receive government student loans from interest if they have no income. The period from college graduation to employment is applicable, and even after employment, if you lose your job or take parental leave, or if you lose income due to business closure, interest will be waived. The government is investing 182.5 billion won every year to make up for losses as student loans have low interest rates. In addition, it is estimated that an additional 86.5 billion won will have to be spent annually if interest is exempted altogether.

Although more than 80 billion won of finances must be injected, the problem is that if this bill is implemented, the middle class, not the low-income class, or the high-income class with an annual income of more than 100 million won will benefit. The student loans operated by the Korea Student Aid Foundation are for university students whose income is less than 200% of the median income, and for families of four with a monthly income of less than 10.24 million won, student loans are available at an annual interest rate of 1.7%. Basic livelihood security recipients and the next-income class are already exempted from interest accruing during the school year. Even if the Democrats push through the bill, they won’t benefit any more.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education Lee Ju-ho speaks on the passage of the bill at the general meeting of the Education Committee held at the National Assembly in Yeouido, Seoul on the 16th. /news1

The power of the people objected to this point. Rep. Lee Tae-gyu, secretary of the ruling party of the National Assembly Education Committee, said, “Considering that there is no loan benefit for young people under high school graduation, and the interest rate for small loans for the common people is 3-4%, student loans up to 1.7% interest are exempted for upper-middle-class youth. It is populism,” he said. He also pointed out, “Efforts to distribute first and more to the difficult and poor class are more in line with social equity and justice.” However, Rep. Kim Yeong-ho of the Democratic Party, who is the secretary of the opposition party to the Education Committee, said, “If you waive the 1.7% interest rate on student loans, you will receive a benefit of about 10,000 won a month. Is this populism?”

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education Lee Joo-ho said of this bill, “It does not fit the fundamental purpose of the (student loan) system.” While serving as Minister of Education, Science and Technology under the Lee Myung-bak administration, Deputy Prime Minister Lee participated in the legislative process of the Special Act on Student Loan Repayment after Employment. He said, “It is very regrettable that it was passed despite consistently expressing a cautious stance in the deliberation process, concerned about the issue of equity and excessive loans for uneducated high school graduates and small business owners, and the inducement of excessive additional loans.”

Graphics = Son Min-kyun

Min Hyung-bae helped enact the bill and returned to the Democratic Party in 9 days

The student loan interest-free loan law is different from the legislative runaway bill pushed forward by the Democratic Party in that the beneficiaries have never specifically requested it. The Grain Management Act, which obligates the government to purchase overproduced rice, was desired by farmers’ groups, and the Nursing Act, which added ‘community’ to the scope of nurses’ activities, was a long-cherished wish of nursing groups. The Yellow Envelope Act스포츠토토, which the Democratic Party is expected to refer directly to the plenary session of the National Assembly, is a bill that virtually neutralizes companies’ right to defend against illegal union strikes, and the KCTU and the Federation of Korean Trade Unions are strongly demanding its implementation.

However, there are no college students or youth organizations that have been active in asking for the passage of an interest-free student loan law. On the 22nd of last month, Democratic Party representative Lee Jae-myung said on Facebook, “Does the people’s strength and the Yoon Seok-yeol government have a conscience?” It is like using student loans as one of the ‘veto-inducing strategies’ that the Democratic Party is using toward the government and the ruling party.

Rep. Min Hyung-bae, who was reinstated to the Democratic Party after ‘disguising withdrawal’, speaks at the general meeting of the Education Committee held at the National Assembly on the 16th. /news1

Even if the student loan interest-free loan law passes the plenary session of the National Assembly, it is unlikely to avoid controversy over procedural flaws. The Democratic Party said that it would push this bill despite the opposition of the people’s strength, and used Rep. Min Hyung-bae, who “disguised withdrawal from the party” during last year’s “Complete Review” bill, to neutralize the Agenda Selection Committee within a year. Nine days later, Congressman Min joined the Democratic Party.

Previously, the Constitutional Court judged that Congressman Min’s’disguised withdrawal’ from the Democratic Party as a procedural flaw in the process of enforcing the legislation of the Complete Review Act in April and May of last year by the Democratic Party. It is said that by putting Min, who is formally independent, as an’opposition member’ in the Agenda Selection Committee, which should consist of an equal number of opposition parties, it made the structure advantageous to the Democratic Party and violated the power of the people’s power lawmakers. This judgment came out in March of this year, but the Democratic Party did not care and used the same method again a month later.

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