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S. Korea's top office says measures to narrow income gap are working, but data paints different picture

S. Korea's top office says measures to narrow income gap are working, but data paints different picture
Recent government data on household income in South Korea shows that inequality between the top and bottom 20 percent brackets have reached a new high.After being on the receiving end of a wave of media criticism,... South Korea's presidential office responded on Sunday,... insisting the figures are not a true reflection of what's happening in the country.Oh Soo-young reports.The Presidential Office of Cheong Wa Dae insists income inequality in South Korea has not worsened despite recent government data that paints a different picture.Statistics Korea's second quarter data released last week seems to indicate the worst level of household income inequality in more than a decade.Between April and June,... the average household earned around 3,900 U.S. dollars a month,... up three-point-eight percent on-year.However,... the monthly income for the bottom 20 percent income bracket remained unchanged from the year before,... averaging one-thousand-ninety dollars.The top 20 percent earned nearly 7-thousand-800 dollars a month on average,... marking a three-point-two percent increase compared to the same period in 2018.This comes despite the Moon Jae-in administration's push to generate "income-driven growth" for the country.Cheong Wa Dae defended its efforts.The top office's Senior Secretary for Economic Affairs Lee Ho-seong said Sunday that average income for the bottom 20 percent bracket was no longer in the red which he said should be viewed positively.He said various policy efforts such as strengthening social safety nets has had a positive effect... and the average household income level for 2018 to 2019 is comparatively higher than previous years.The official added some 33 billion dollars will be set aside for next year's government budget,.. nearly half of which will be invested in social welfare.Oh Soo-young, Arirang News.

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