3. Social Policy Goal – Building “A Responsible Nation” for the Lives of the People
KOREA REPORT(2017, #1)
Social Policy Goal – Building “A Responsible Nation” for the Lives of the People
3. The Moon Jae-in Administration’s Social Policy Goal – Building “A Responsible Nation” for the Lives of the People
The goal ‘A Responsible Nation’ for the Lives of the People meets the current times’ call for a just country.
The government’s active role is needed in alleviating the problems of social inequality, rise in income gap, and deterioration in public goods.
- The state as an active agent in reducing the problems of socioeconomic inequality; assuring decent living of the people; and enhancing the sense of communality among the people
- Social consensus has been formed on pursuing an indiscriminate and fair society that respects labor and gender equality.
Welfare·Childcare·Education·Social Stability·Environment are examples of areas in which the state should be held more accountable to, in order to enhance the lives of the people.
- The underlying goal: enhancing social integration of the people where the values of co-existence and prosperity are commonly cherished.
- Pursuit for building a cultural state, which promotes freedom of individuals, creativity, and happiness of the people.
Five agendas and thirty-two goals to realizing ‘A Responsible Nation’ for the Lives of The People.
1st Agenda : ‘Inclusive Welfare State for All’
- Inclusive·Active welfare state is required to overcome the socioeconomic problems arising from the limitations of market economy, as well as to promote national integration of the people. The Moon administration seeks to strengthen its welfare state system to redress the problems of inequality in Korea.
- The administration will pursue six major policy tasks including the following: introduction of child allowance·youth employment subsidy program; basic pension rate increase for basic income security; provision of universal healthcare and enhancement in the overall universality of medical care to the people, securing the welfare and happiness of the elderly via launching the national Alzheimer’s responsibility program.
2nd Agenda: ‘Childcare and Education by the State’
- As low fertility rate poses a serious problem to the future of South Korean society, the government will be more responsible to the peoples’ needs for childcare and education, and seek to provide welfare policies that are tailored to the needs of the people at different stages in their lifecycles.
- The administration will pursue seven major policy tasks including the following: increasing public kindergartens, provision of national subsidy for Nuri program, free highschool education policy, alleviating housing cost for university students – programs that are tailored to the peoples’ needs at different stages of their lifecycle. The administration will also innovate public education programs and enhance the quality and diversity of lifelong education programs, in order to prepare for the Fourth Industrial Revolution and new education system necessary for the future.
3rd Agenda: ‘Reliable Society that Protects the Safety and Lives of the People’
- To place priority in protecting the safety and lives of the people, the very basic duty of the state which the former government has neglected, the Moon administration has put forth building ‘Reliable Society’ as one of its key national agenda.
- The administration will implement eight major policy tasks including the following: 1) establishing a comprehensive national management system for disasters for efficient provision of safety and supervision; 2) innovating regulations on nuclear reactors; as well as 3) promoting free-nuclear society to alleviate the peoples’ fear of environmental calamities; 4) active measures for climate change, and others.
4th Agenda: ‘Fair Society, Free of Discrimination with Respect for Labor and Gender Equality‘
- The Moon administration, which declared justice and social integration as their core values/guiding principles of their governance, promotes ‘fair society’ that is people-centered, culturally diverse, and free of any discrimination.
- To construct a society wherein the labor are justly respected, the administration will pursue the following four major policy tasks: measures that will 1) improve labor rights; 2) better engage the laborer into social dialogues and participation; 3) alleviate the problems of irregulars workers and thereby promote better working conditions, free of discriminations; and 4) founding a committee for gender equality under the direct leadership of the President.
5th Agenda: ‘Cultural State Brimming with Freedom and Innovation’
- The administration will seek to better guarantee the peoples’ ordinary rights of cultural enjoyment, encourage/support the people to become also producers/active participants themselves in the cultural-arts-sports industry, and invigorate tourism which can enrich the peoples’ quality of life and relaxation, and at the same time become one of South Korea’s promising industries for the future.
- The administration will pursue seven major policy tasks as the following: policies that will 1) introduce a new era of life culture to the people; 2) protect the creative rights of artists; 3) foster the value of ‘fairness’ in the cultural ecosystem; 4) further disseminate Korean Wave; 5) promote progress in media; 6) realize successful hosting of the Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang; and 7) invigorate Korea’s tourist industry.
To make Korea a “Responsible Nation” for the Lives of the People, the administration should seek for measures to build people’s trust and support for the government
The peoples’ trust in the government have been improving by the administration’s responsiveness and rapid execution of policies, which brought changes that are largely visible and felt by the people.
- ‘Zero-Irregular Workers in Public Institutions and Enterprises’ was the first policy task President Moon Jae-in declared since his inauguration. Also, President Moon announced to permantely terminate Kori No 1. Nuclear reactor and launched the Public Engagement Committee on Shin Kori No. 5 and No. 6 nuclear reactors in June after his announcement for free-nuclear society. In August, President Moon also announced KRW100,000 Child Allowance to be enacted from July next year. Overall, specific policies are being implemented one after another to realize the administration’s national agenda.
The government should continue to increase the peoples’ support and consensus for the government through maintaining consistency in their policies.
- Welfare, education, labor, environment related areas are prone for acute social conflicts. To alleviate such problems and gain peoples’ support for the government’s policy directions, it is important that the government maintains its consistency in their vision and policies that have already gained significant consensus from the people.
- Policy agenda for inclusive growth, free-nuclear society, and other safety related issues have already gained significant consensus from the people. Therefore, the opposition parties should refrain from all-out-opposition and instead come up with alternatives that can initiate constructive dialogues for solutions on these issues.