Strategy and Finance Minister Choi Kyung-hwan hinted Thursday that the government may consider raising corporate taxes if necessary.
Responding to a question at a meeting of the National Assembly’s Strategy & Finance Committee, Choi said the government does not regard corporate tax as too sacred of a realm to enter.
It is the first time Choi, a growth-oriented economist, has said that he is open to the possibility of raising corporate taxes since taking office as the country’s economic chief in July.
Choi indicated, however, that the government wouldn’t easily raise the tax, reiterating his stance that raising taxes in general would negatively affect economic recovery and could prompt deflation by discouraging people to spend.
Tax hikes have become a divisive issue among the government and the ruling party.
Yoo Seong-min, the new floor leader of the Saenuri Party, said the government has no choice but to raise taxes to follow through on its welfare policies and that corporate taxes are no exception. But, the party’s chairman Kim Moo-sung had a different take, saying a corporate tax hike should be the last thing the party supports.