Radical pledges on offer as inequality dominates S. Korea election campaign

Ruling party candidate proffers a universal basic income while others propose half-priced flats for young voters.

Ruling Democratic Party candidate Lee Jae-myung, speaking on Sunday during the final race to choose the presidential election candidate in Seoul.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

(FINANCIAL TIMES) - A universal basic income (UBI) of more than US$400 (S$542) a month is moving closer to reality for South Koreans as leading presidential candidates vow to unleash radical policies to combat worsening inequality.

The UBI - a government programme whereby the state unconditionally pays everyone a monthly sum - is viewed by some economists as a fix to entrenched poverty and by libertarians as a way to demolish bloated bureaucracies. But critics believe the policy is impractical and unaffordable.

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