It seems to me that giving out subsidies to the taxi companies would discourage people from using the mass transit system that is already subsidized by the government:
President Lee Myung-bak rejected a parliament-approved bill that would provide state subsidies to the taxi industry, his spokesman said, a veto that could be overruled by the National Assembly despite criticism that the legislation is an extravagant, populist measure.
Lee signed a Cabinet motion urging the parliament to reconsider the bill that calls for including taxis as mass transportation, along with buses, subways and trains, making the industry eligible for government subsidies and other benefits.
“We cannot do something that does not conform to the international standards and is unprecedented in other countries,” Lee said, according to presidential spokesman Park Jeong-ha. “There are many ways to normalize the taxi (industry). It is desirable (for us) to take the right path for the next government, too.”
It was the first time Lee has vetoed a parliament-approved bill since taking office in 2008.
Taxi drivers have threatened a general strike if Lee exercises a veto. Leaders of four major taxi lobbies were to hold a meeting later in the day to discuss whether and when to call a walkout. [Yonhap]
You can read the rest at the link, but we have discussed this issue a few months ago when the cab drivers threatened to go on strike then. I am not sure how much a local cab driver makes, but their take home pay is probably comparable to what cab drivers working on USFK bases made when they went on strike. The on-post cab drivers were making $1,259 to $1,363 a month when they went on strike in 2006. A big difference for the on-post cab drivers though is that they make much more money on tips compared to local cab drivers. So I can sympathize with the fact that the cab drivers are not making much money and this is usually why I always tip the cab driver unless it is one of the sharks that try to rip me off in the Uijongbu and Dongducheon areas.