As the city of Yongin faces colossal debts after the construction of a new train line, the city’s civil servants are asked to return part of their wages and bonuses. The following article generated hundreds of comments over the weekend from disgruntled netizens, questioning why the city’s residents voted the Saenuri Party in again, despite having been the party who originally went on with the go-ahead for the new line’s construction.
Light-rail costing a bomb, forcing even the civil servants of Yongin to return their wages
The city of Yongin in Gyeonggi Province is about to suffer from the aftereffects of serious financial difficulties which arose from its impractical light-rail business. Civil servants of the local government, including the mayor, must now endure the ‘humility’ of returning their annual pay awards. Shockingly enough, impact of the adult’s misjudgement will be shared by young children as well, as the city has to stop its projects on improvements of educational environment, including provision of school lunches and language-teaching facilities.
The city of Yongin announced on the 15th that the Ministry of Public Administration and Security gave a final approval on the 12th to issue a further municipal bond of 442 billion Won for the primary reparations regarding the Yongin Light-rail. With the approval, the Ministry imposed a condition that the city follows more than 20 financial management plans which was submitted to the Ministry by the city.
Therefore, 122 civil servants in 5th rank or higher, including the mayor Hak-Kyoo Kim, have to return the annual pay award of 3.8% (about 130,000 to 295,000 Won). The budget for the local policy works and operative budget must also be reduced by 10%.
Civil servants in lower ranks are also stripped of 25% of their overtime pays, 50% of their compensation for unused annual time-off (39,000~121,000 per person), and 40% of their day/night duty allowance (50,000 per person). Also curtailed will be 4 billion Won supporting the Welfare Point [cash-like points given annually to civil servants; can be used at certain shops and hospitals] for all the 2,800 workers in the city government, and 184 million Won supporting backpack trips of some 80 workers.
Of special importance, 7 billion 320 million Won for improving the educational environments and 23.9 billion Won for supporting the public business were cut as well, meaning the city is now unable to proceed with enhancements of school facilities, which was scheduled to happen this year.
The city council should also cut 30% off the annual operative budget for its Chair (31.1 million Won), Vice Chair (14.9 million Won) and 4 Chairmen of Standing Committee (48 million Won), plus half the budget for overseas training (54.9 million Won). In addition, the city has to re-review entirely the mayor’s pledge for establishment of a symphony orchestra and Korean classical orchestra (which had a budget of 1 billion Won). The other measures include minimisation of new civil work force and early purchase of the civil property.
Sources from the city government said that the city is planning to ask for public understanding by presenting policies for early repayment of the debt.
The city of Yongin completed construction of the light-rail ‘Ever Line’ in June 2010, with 1 trillion 3.2 billion Won spent on it. However the line has not yet been open due to problems with MRG (minimum revenue guarantee) with Yongin Light-rail Inc. and controversy over fraudulent construction work. The city is planning to use the additionally issued municipal bond to cover the primary reparations (515.9 billion Won) with regard to the Yongin Light-rail, which was decided by the International Court of Arbitration last year.
Comments from Daum:
"Even when the city’s finances are down the drain with the light-rail… The Saenuri Party [where the mayor belongs to] member is elected again this time… The standard of that neighbourhood is just ~~~ xxxx"
"Yongin can’t pay its workers because of former mayor Jeong-Mun Lee (from Saenuri Party), and Incheon can’t pay its workers because of former mayor Sang-Su Ahn (from Saenuri Party), but still they favour that Party, still they continue to vote for that Party. No wonder they are stuck in their problem ke ke ke"
"The curse of Hannal Party = Poop-nuri Party!!!!! The mayor of Yongin and those from the Hannara Party who went on with the light-rail should be executed under the public order [*Hannal is short for Hannara, the old name of Saenuri Party. Poop-nuri is a derogatory joke term for Saenuri]"
"I just can’t understand those living in Yongin. They support the Party when it builds an extravagant and inefficient city hall creating a humongous debt. They still support the Party when it ruins their finances. They yet still support it when it accumulates debt building the light-rail. Congratulations, residents of Yongin. Keep it up that way. [*차떼기 originally means buying everything that a merchant has brought on his truck, with 떼기 meaning ‘buying all of something.’ These days it means bribing a politician by literally ‘giving money piled up to fill a whole truck’, a new meaning that arose from the incidence where Samsung left some 10 billion Won in a car for the Hannara Party politician to take, and return the empty car.]"