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Gov't to cut fuel tax, ease borrowing rules for first-time homebuyers in H2 Updated: 2022-07-01 09:38:26 KST

The government's announced a number of important measures for the second half of the year to help consumers and the economy.
The Ministry of Finance said Thursday that to give some relief to drivers paying record-high fuel prices, it's likely to increase the tax cut on fuel to the legal limit of 37 percent.
The tax cut right now is at 30 percent.
This'll bring down gasoline prices by around 4 U.S. cents a liter and diesel by about 3 cents.

The Financial Services Commission is going to expand its support for people who, because of the pandemic, are struggling to keep up with their loans while they're self-employed or running a small business.
From October, many will be eligible for lower interest rates and principal payments.
Also, to help more people get on the property ladder, the rules will be eased on borrowing.
The government is going to raise the limit on loan-to-value for mortgages to 80 percent for first-time homebuyers. Right now it's at 60 to 70 percent.

"When the LTV ratio was 70 percent, it was still hard for first-time buyers to make a down payment of 30 percent. The new measure will help these people, but there are still other problems like high interest rates."

The Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy will also take steps from August to protect and grow several high-tech strategic industries, like semiconductors, batteries and vaccines.
These will include stabilizing supply chains for high-tech items and boosting government support for related companies.
The ministry also aims to launch a task force to accelerate what it calls the Industrial Digital Transformation.

There's a new pilot project for the Ministry of Health and Welfare, too.
From July, people in six designated cities and districts including Jongno-gu District in Seoul can apply for benefits when they're sick or injured and miss work.
They'll get almost 44-thousand won a day, or about 34 U.S. dollars.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, meanwhile, is going to use leftover stock to let people get the older, green version of the Korean passport for a cheaper fee.
And from July, national ID cards are going digital, so a smartphone version can be used with the same legal validity as a physical one.
The app is called Government 24, and so far it's available
for Android only, but an iOS version will be out soon.
Lee Rae-hyun, Arirang News.
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