SEOUL - South Korea's parliament on Wednesday approved increasing next year's budget by net 2.2 trillion won ($1.99 billion) to its planned 555.8 trillion won, to cushion the economic fallout from coronavirus outbreaks and to secure vaccines.
The budget reflects a total 7.5 trillion-won increase from an initial budget proposal, including 3 trillion won of stimulus to help businesses and households hit by the pandemic and 0.9 trillion won to secure COVID-19 vaccines.
Offsetting some of the increase was a cut totalling 5.3 trillion won from the original budget after lawmakers adjusted priorities.
The government had pledged a total 310 trillion won in fiscal spending this year to shore up Asia's fourth-largest economy, while the central bank cut rates by a total of 75 basis points.
The parliamentary approval will raise the ratio of government debt to gross domestic product to a record 47.3% in 2021.
($1 = 1,103.0600 won)
(Reporting by Joori Roh; Editing by) ((firstname.lastname@example.org; +82 2 6936 1493;))