• Park’s approval rating hits record low

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    SEOUL: President Park Geun-hye’s job approval rating dropped to an all-time low this week, a new poll said on Friday, a development underscoring challenges faced by the female leader.

    The survey on 1,009 adults found only 29 percent of those polled approved of the way Park has been handling her job, down 1 percentage point from a previous week, according to Gallup Korea.

    It marked the first time that Park’s approval rating has tumbled to levels below 30 percent.

    Among those who disapproved of Park’s performance, 16 percent blamed Park for lack of communication and another 16 percent said they did not support Park over the government’s new tax settlement scheme, according to Gallup Korea.

    Park has long been branded by her critics as “uncommunicative” for allegedly refusing to listen to what critics and others have to say and insisting only on what she believes to be right.

    On Monday, Park expressed regret for causing trouble over the new tax settlement scheme that has sparked strong public backlash.

    The new scheme is designed to collect less taxes throughout the year and return less in overcharge during tax settlements at the start of a new year.

    Under the new scheme, some people with an annual income of less than $50,700 are required to pay additional taxes this year.

    Before the revision, many wage earners were able to get tax refunds that were commonly referred to as a bonus or extra wage.

    The new tax settlement scheme has angered the public, prompting the government and the ruling party to push for revision of the tax code to ensure that it offers additional tax refunds to eligible taxpayers.

    The survey, taken between on Tuesday and Thursday, has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

    YONHAP NEWS

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