The Korean government will hold a public hearing on Oct. 19 for its “Third Basic Plan on Low Fertility and Aging Society” to cover the period of 2016 to 2020. The purpose of the plan is to raise the country’s total fertility rate, which stood at 1.2 last year, to 1.5 by 2020. At the same time, the government is to create at least 40,000 jobs for the youth in the public sector by 2017, while providing a tax credit of 5 million won (US$4,456) per newly-hired young regular worker for firms in the private sector.
The plan includes housing assistance measures for the younger generation, too. Specifically, criteria applied to lease on a deposit basis are to be relaxed, and more loans are to be provided to that end for the newly married. Younger couples are to be given additional advantages during the selection of lessees so that early marriage will be encouraged.
According to the plan, the government is going to be more responsible for childbirth and child-rearing as well. Medical expenses women have to bear in relation to pregnancy and delivery are slated to be reduced, and the costs of medical procedures to deal with sub-fertility are to be covered in whole by national health insurance. In addition, childcare systems are to be reformed so that working mothers can be free from concerns over career discontinuity, and the number of day care centers continues to increase. Paternity leave will be extended from one month to three months, too.