Moon promises cash, more jobs for elderly
SEOUL, April 18 (Yonhap) -- Moon Jae-in, the presidential candidate of the liberal Democratic Party, vowed Tuesday to provide additional support for the elderly that will include increased monthly allowances and more jobs for people who are past the retirement age but still require work.
Moon said he will, if elected, increase the monthly allowance for people aged 65 years or older to 300,000 won (US$263) a month from the current 100,000 to 200,000 won.
The monthly allowance is provided to the elderly in the lower 70 percent of the income bracket.
The ratio of recipients will be maintained under a Moon administration, the party said in a press release.
Kim Jung-sook (R), the wife of presidential candidate Moon Jae-in, serves food to the elderly in Gwangju on April 14, 2017. (Yonhap)
Moon remained the front-runner in most recent polls on the May 9 presidential election.
The liberal candidate's nine-point policy pledge for the elderly included additional jobs with increased wages for the elderly.
While speaking to supporters at a welfare center for the elderly in the southwestern city of Jeonju, located some 240 kilometers from Seoul, Moon said he will double the monthly wage for public jobs reserved for the elderly as part of a social welfare program to 400,000 a month from the current 200,000 won.
In a report submitted earlier to the election watchdog, Moon also said he would double the number of such jobs to 800,000 from the current 430,000.
Moon said his government will also enhance health care for the growing elderly population who are expected to account for 14 percent of the country's 51 million population at the end of this year.
Currently, about 700,000, or one in every 10, people aged 65 years or older suffer from dementia, he noted.
Moon promised to extend health care benefits to those suffering from the disorder and also put a ceiling on out-of-pocket payments, which he said will greatly reduce the cost of patients and their families.
The government will also lower the personal cost of dentures and dental implants for the elderly by nearly half, Moon said.
For those who live in remote or rural areas without easy access to public transportation, the presidential hopeful promised to introduce new government-backed taxi services that will charge the elderly only 100 won, or about 10 cents, per trip.