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Ruling party to request spending boost for research and developmentBy Yonhap
Published : Nov. 3, 2023 - 10:53
The ruling People Power Party has officially requested the government increase budgets in research and development to improve the working conditions of young scientists, a lawmaker said Friday.
The request comes amid criticism of the government's double-digit percentage cut in the R&D budget, originally planned to improve inefficiencies in how the money is being spent. The budget for the sector dropped to around 25 trillion won ($18.7 billion), marking the first reduction in eight years.
The main opposition Democratic Party has continuously attacked the government's massive budget cut in the sector, with its leader Lee Jae-myung describing the decision as a "blunder" in an economy that depends heavily on chips, IT and other high-tech industries.
"We came to the conclusion that a budget increase is necessary in order to improve the compensation of young researchers working on government projects in labs, schools and private companies," Rep. Song Eon-seog, an executive secretary of the parliamentary special committee on budget and accounts, said.
"We decided to ask strongly for it," he said. "We will conduct discussions with the government so that the budget related to the personnel expenses of young researchers in the basic science sector will be raised in the parliamentary review process."
The party also vowed to persuade the government to make bolder investment in new strategic fields, such as artificial intelligence and quantum sciences, Song added.
On Friday, the National Assembly began the deliberation of the 2024 national budget.
After an extensive review from rival parties, the budget's final version will be put to a vote by the end of the month. Its deadline falls on Dec. 2. (Yonhap)
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