Floor leader of main opposition party voices disappointment at Yoon's budget speech

The floor leader of the main opposition party on Tuesday voiced his disappointment at President Yoon Suk Yeol's budget speech, saying next year's state budget lacks funds needed to prepare for the future and support vulnerable people.

Rep. Hong Ihk-pyo of the Democratic Party made the assessment, as Yoon delivered a budget speech earlier in the day pledging to put the top priority on stabilizing inflation and people's livelihoods.

"(The speech) was very disappointing. There was no budget to prepare for the future," Hong said, citing a cut in budgets for research and development and young people.

He also voiced regret that Yoon did not clearly state his stance about the role of the government and fiscal policy as a "buttress" for vulnerable people and the collapsing middle class.

During the speech, Yoon vowed to stick to a sound fiscal policy next year, calling for bipartisan support for passing the government's proposed 657 trillion won ($487 billion) budget for next year.

The proposed amount marks a 2.8 percent growth from this year's budget of 638.7 trillion won, the smallest on-year growth since 2005. (Yonhap)