Economic policy guidelines for the second half of the year were announced last week. They included government policies aimed at helping people-centered economic initiatives take firm root and reinvigorating the economy. Numerous adverse factors still plague the Korean economy. This is because long-term implementation of neoliberal economic policy expanded income inequality, thereby undermining growth momentum. At the same time, jobless growth has persisted.
In response, the Government is striving to fundamentally change the nation's economic paradigm, but such endeavors will not immediately bear fruit in the short term. Still, the Government is now pursuing an inclusive growth policy, a countermeasure adopted after careful analysis of the neoliberal growth policy. Major developed nations and international organizations have expressed agreement with this new policy. My Administration will focus on strengthening the fundamentals of our economy with a long-term perspective.
During the second half of this year, the Government will intensively channel its energy and efforts into carrying out structural reform of the economy and boosting economic vitality. On top of this, enhanced efforts will be made to address problems revealed during the structural reform process and make up for blind spots within existing policies.
First, the Government will redouble its efforts to deal with Korea having the longest working hours among OECD member countries and with issues concerning the vulnerable who fall through the cracks of relevant policies. The number of beneficiaries of the earned income tax credit and its total budget will increase about twofold and threefold, respectively. The date to hike monthly basic pensions for the elderly in need has been significantly advanced.
In addition, efforts will be concentrated on creating jobs customized for different types of businesses and income levels in a bid to ultimately ease economic polarization and improve fairness in income distribution. Fortunately, there is a sufficient amount of tax revenue this year as there was last year, and my Administration will do its best to reduce economic inequality by redistributing tax to underprivileged and low-income households.
Second, concentrated efforts will be made to drastically abolish outdated regulations and expedite innovative growth. I will personally preside over the Regulatory Reform Inspection Meeting every month to speed up regulatory reform. In doing so, I intend to help enhance the dynamism and growth potential of our economy. I want to stress again that income-driven growth, innovative growth and a fair economy need to be pursued simultaneously; it is not a matter of choosing one over another.
Third, I will actively reach out to various economic stakeholders. If necessary, I will be the first to personally meet with business leaders as well as small business owners, sole proprietors and labor leaders. I will carefully listen to their opinions and, if necessary, persuade them or make requests. My Administration will take the initiative in pursuing social dialogue to increase economic vitality.
If we confidently make concerted efforts, we will be able to change the fundamentals of our economy, in which growth has reached its limit, the number of non-regular workers has increased and economic inequality has deepened. When the people-centered economy takes root, inclusive growth that enables the equal distribution of the benefits of economic growth will be possible. In addition, I am confident that the Korean economy will achieve sustainable growth if economic dynamism is revived.