SEOUL, Jan. 28 (Korea Bizwire) – Seven in 10 Seoul citizens find South Korea “severely” unequal, a poll has suggested.
According to the city government’s survey unveiled Monday, 26.5 percent said inequality in the society is “very severe” and 42.3 percent “severe.”
As the areas with the worst inequality, 41.1 percent picked “building assets, such as real estate,” followed by “political and social participation” with 24.1 percent and “job issues, such as employment and promotion,” with 20.8 percent.
The telephone survey was conducted by Hankook Research in mid-January on 1,000 Seoul citizens aged 18 and older.
The poll found 78.6 percent think there is acute income inequality, which many attribute to lower wage rises than inflation (30.8 percent), insufficient taxation of high-income earners (16.9 percent), unstable income of wage earners and self-employed businessmen (15.7 percent), wage disparity between large and small companies (14.9 percent), and increased low-quality jobs (12.9 percent).
Also, 83.8 percent said asset inequality is severe.
As the main reasons for the problems, they cited a failure to curb rising property prices (33.9 percent), a lack of restriction on wealth inheritance (22.7%), insufficient taxation of high-income earners (16.5 percent) and low-wage and irregular workers (14.7 percent).
Nearly 60 percent said they expect inequality in income and assets to worsen down the road.
In addition, 64.4 percent said there is a severe inequality among generations.
They believe younger generations are disadvantaged in comparison with older ones in terms of asset building (69.1 percent), social mobility (66.5 percent) and job opportunities (61.5 percent).
Also, 61.1 percent believe institutions of the society work to protect the interests of the upper class, while 17.9 percent think they protect those of the socially vulnerable.
The poll also showed 15.5 percent think they belong to the upper class, while 45.6 percent and 38.9 percent think they are members of the middle and lower classes, respectively.
Six out of 10 expect their current class positions to remain unchanged.