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Republic of Korea: Gov't Hikes Minimum Cost of Living
Source: chosun.com
Source Date: Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Focus: Electronic and Mobile Government, ICT for MDGs, Internet Governance
Country: Korea (Republic of)
Created: Aug 30, 2010

The government has raised the minimum cost of living for 2011 by 5.6 percent compared to this year, the second largest hike since the National Basic Livelihood Security Law was introduced in 2000.

The highest increase was in 2005, when the bar was raised by 7.7 percent after the credit card crisis froze the minimum living cost for years. The government on Tuesday set the minimum cost of living for a four-member household at W1.44 million (US$1=W1,191) up W76,000.

The Ministry of Health and Welfare made the decision in a committee meeting. It will serve as the legal standard for selecting the beneficiaries of welfare stipends.

The minimum cost of living is calculated each year based on how much money is needed for reasonable consumption in 11 categories such as housing, food, heating and water, transportation and communication, and leisure and cultural activities.

Kwon Byung-ki, a ministry official, said, "Inflation is reflected in the new minimum living cost as part of underprivileged-friendly measures." The hike is even higher than the 5.1-percent increase in the minimum wage at end of last month.
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