South Korea parliament approves extra 11 trillion won budget for stimulus package to create jobs, boost birth rates and support eldercare

SEOUL (Reuters) - After marathon negotiations, South Korea's parliament on Saturday (July 22) approved the government's supplementary budget, giving President Moon Jae In an early victory in his push to create jobs and boost economic growth since he came to power in May.

Lawmakers from the ruling Democratic and opposition parties agreed to approved the Bill at a revised 11 trillion won (US$9.84 billion), bringing the government's total spending to 410.1 trillion won for this year, the nation's finance ministry said in a statement.

The stimulus package will focus on creating social service jobs and will provide subsidies for maternity leave and for elderly people needing medical care.

South Korea's economy, Asia's fourth-largest, has been picking up momentum this year thanks to a revival in exports growth as global demand has steadily improved.

Domestic consumption, however, has lagged external demand for South Korean goods, and Moon is banking on the extra fiscal impulse to help boost household income.

The economy grew 2.8 per cent last year, and the government estimates the extra spending will lift growth by 0.2 percentage point this year, which could prompt it to raise the 2017 forecast from the current 2.6 per cent.