By Jun Ji-hye
The ruling Saenuri Party and the main opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy agreed late Monday on three welfare revision bills, a move aimed at expanding the scope of beneficiaries of the national basic livelihood social security system.
The National Assembly Health and Welfare Committee reached an agreement on the revisions, raising the possibility of them being approved by a vote in an upcoming plenary session.
The move to push the bills forward came after a mother and her two daughters committed suicide together at their home in Songpa-gu, Seoul, in February, after suffering from severe hardship. In the wake of their deaths, there have been growing calls for a stronger safety buffer for the underprivileged.
The three bills are revisions to the National Basic Living Security Act and the Emergency Aid and Support Act, and a motion to create a law to make more people eligible for social security.
The agreement came after the governing party took a step backward from its initial position that additional funds to implement the measures should be less than 200 billion won ($183 million). Lawmakers expect that the programs will additionally cost about 250 billion won.
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