Seoul City and Central Clash Over Jobseeker Support

John Kim, Nov. 9, 2015, 8:12 a.m.

The central government is furious at the Seoul Metropolitan Government's plans to give W500,000 a month to 3,000 deserving young jobseekers (US$1=W1,143). The Ministry of Health and Welfare last week demanded a "briefing" from the city, but the city refused saying the matter is not subject to negotiation.

Kim Choong-hwan at the ministry on Friday said the government will "review whether Seoul City's plan is a welfare matter that must be discussed with the government, and talk with other government agencies and civilian experts to see if it overlaps with existing benefits." 

By law, regional governments must discuss new welfare programs with the ministry and submit them for government review 180 days before they go into effect. But the city insists the matter does not require approval from the central government it falls under the city's own discretion.

A Seoul city official said, "We are not offering financial support without strings attached but intend to choose eligible candidates. The plan isn't a social welfare program and does not need to be discussed with the ministry."

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