Budget Speech by President Park

President Park Geun-hye gave a speech on the Government’s budget plan for the fiscal year 2014, at the ninth plenary meeting of the 320th session on November 18, 2013. Her speech marked the fourth administrative policy address delivered by the President at the National Assembly, following those by former Presidents Roh Tae-woo in 1988, Roh Moo-hyun in 2003 and Lee Myung-bak in 2008. Except for these four years, the speech was read by the Prime Minister every year. 

In her speech, titled “A Great Journey for the Republic of Korea; Let’s Carve out the Future Together,” President Park put stress on the legitimacy of the administration’s budget plan and the urgency of pending bills concerning the people’s livelihood and economy, and also spoke about the national intelligence agency’s alleged meddling in the last year’s presidential election. 

“The National Assembly is the center of national politics. I do not believe there is any issue that could not be discussed in the National Assembly. Should the ruling and opposition parties, having had adequate discussions, reach an agreement on any issues including those raised recently by the opposition parties, I will respect and accept their conclusions,” she said. 

“In demonstration of my respect for the National Assembly,” she added, “I will seek to create a new political culture as I henceforth will address the members of the Assembly at the regular session each year and seek their cooperation.” 

Speaking about the issue surrounding the intelligence agency, President Park asked the parliament to put an end to the divisions and conflicts, and place its confidence in the Government’s commitment to action and the decision of the Judiciary, reiterating her stance on the matter. 

“In the days ahead, the Government will be upholding strict standards of discipline for those in public office in order to prevent even the slightest doubts about political interference from being cast on elections, including the local elections to be held next year,” she said, asking for an in-depth discussion on and examination of a plan to reform national intelligence services that the Government is preparing to submit to the National Assembly. 

As for the budget proposal for the next year, she remarked that it placed the greatest emphasis on the reinvigoration of the economy and the creation of jobs to ensure the sustained trend toward economic recovery. 

“When it comes to economic revitalization and job creation, there should not be any separation between the National Assembly and the Administration, between the ruling and opposition parties,” she emphasized. 

“Bills aimed at creating jobs and reviving the economy await passage in the National Assembly. These include bills to promote foreign investment, invigorate investments in the tourism sector, normalize the housing market and support the establishment of SMEs for the realization of the creative economy,” said the President, urging the Assembly members to collaborate to pass all pending bills within the ongoing regular session.

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