With little movement on new stimulus checks in US, here’s what other countries have done

National and World

South Korea's government sent $820 checks to families in the bottom 70% of income brackets

(Nexstar DC photo)

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — As lawmakers continue to negotiate a new coronavirus relief deal and whether or not it would include a second round of direct payments, we’re getting a better idea of how other countries helped their citizens amid the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.

At this point, most Americans received a stimulus check of $1,200 per adult. President Trump, along with a number of other lawmakers, have argued citizens should get a second check of at least that amount. To date, fiscally conservative Republicans have held up any hope of a deal that includes that much direct relief. A recent proposal from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell included no new stimulus check.

Other countries that sent money to all its citizens included Hong Kong ($1,280 equivalent per adult), Japan ($930 per adult) and Singapore ($422 per adult), according to a breakdown by the BBC.

South Korea’s government sent $820 checks to families in the bottom 70% of income brackets.

According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, those were the countries that provided direct “coronavirus handouts” to its citizens.

Other countries have been more targeted with their approach.

Relief in Canada came in the form of $1,400 per month for up to four months to anyone who lost income after the virus hit. Costa Rica did something similar sending $220 in monthly aid to anyone losing work.

It’s worth noting the United States also provided an addition $600 in weekly payments in unemployment insurance that were approved March 27 and continued through the end of July.

European nations largely avoided the one-time payments instead boosting funding for social services to meet the needs of those most impacted. However, many counties enhanced unemployment offerings.

Others, such as the Netherlands and Denmark, provided assistance for companies that kept employees on the payroll, a format similar to the loans and loan forgiveness offered under the U.S. Paycheck Protection Program.

While it may look like the U.S. provided more methods of stimulus than most other countries during the pandemic, there’s a good reason for that, according to one expert.

“The discretionary response is very large in the United States but when you’re comparing you need to take into account that actually more needs to be done in the U.S. because the social safety nets are smaller,” Paolo Mauro, deputy director of the International Monetary Fund’s fiscal affairs department, told the BBC.

For more information on what relief packages have looked like internationally, you can check out this chart from the Tax Foundation.

While the idea of additional stimulus checks in the U.S. is not entirely dead, it’s not in good shape. House Democrats are going back to the drawing board on a huge COVID-19 relief bill, paring back the measure in an attempt to jump-start negotiations with the Trump administration.

The Democratic-controlled chamber could pass the $2.4 trillion measure next week if talks fall through to demonstrate that the party isn’t giving up on passing virus relief before the election. The package is expected to include new direct payments.

However, there’s no indication a GOP-controlled Senate would be willing to pass the costly Democrat-backed deal.

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