6 June 2024

Acting Democrat party leader Jurin Laksanawisit told parliament today (Monday) that the government’s policies, delivered by Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, do not match those promised by the Pheu Thai party during the election campaign.

He cited the party’s manifesto, promising to provide each family with an income under 20,000 baht a month with financial support, to bring their monthly earnings up to 20,000 baht, saying that this was not mentioned in the policy statement.

Pointing out that there are about 20 million such households, he said he doubts the government could secure the funding to realise this policy, which may cost the taxpayer about 100 billion baht per month.

Two other pre-election promises missing from today’s policy statement are the 25,000 baht/month salary for BA graduates and the 600-baht minimum wage, to be implemented within four years.

Decentralisation of power, with the election of provincial governors for provinces which are ready for such elections, has also been left out, but replaced with centralisation of power, said Jurin.

Regarding the digital wallet scheme, the acting Democrat leader said that there seems to be no solution as to how the scheme can be implemented and from where the funding, estimated at 560 billion baht, will come.

He said he agrees with the prime minister’s promise not to revive the rice pledging scheme, but doubts the prime minister’s pledge to scrap the price guarantee for farm products, asking what the government will do if the prices of farm products drop substantially, to the extent that farmers are suffering financially.

Fortunately for the government, he said, the prices of most main farm products, such as rice, maize and tapioca, are currently high.

Regarding constitutional amendments, Jurin questioned why the government only promised not to touch Chapter 2 of the Constitution, concerning the monarchy, but not Section 1 of Chapter One, which he claims is equally important.

Section 1 of the charter specifies that “Thailand is a single and indivisible kingdom”.

He also reminded the government to uphold the rule of law by ensuring that all people are equal under Thai law, citing the recent Royal commutation granted to convicted former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

He said that it is the prerogative of the King to grant a Royal pardon or commutation to any individual, but the government must make sure that all inmates are treated equally.