Democrat unveils economic policy aimed at helping farmers and labourers
The Democrat Party on Friday unveiled an economic policy designed to guarantee minimum wages for labourers at no less than 120,000 baht per annum and the minimum price of rice at not less than 10,000 baht per ton.
It also seeks to enable the Sor Por Kor (land reform) land documents to be used as collateral for funding sources.
Democrat party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva listed bread and butter issue as the biggest problem facing Thai people.
He said that whenever the prices of farm products drop, not only the farmers suffer, but also the small traders and vendors because they cannot sell their goods.
According to Abhisit, the Thai economy is experiencing three major problems: immediate problem which is poor economic situation; the country’s competitiveness amidst changing factors; and disparity as most of the country’s wealth is concentrated in a handful of the super rich.
He said the Democrat’s economic policy must address the poor economic situation, stemming from the fact that the majority of the people have low or no purchasing power, not enough income to meet their expenses, low prices of farm products and low wages.
To address the problem of the farmers, Abhisit explained that the party’s policy is based on the principle that farmers must be able to make a living from their land and that piece of land, including Sor Por Kor land, can be used as a collateral to get loans.
According to the existing law, Sor Por Kor land is not transferrable and cannot be used as a collateral to get loans from a commercial bank or a state-owned bank.
Regarding prices of major farm produce such as rice and rubber, Abhisit said the Democrat party’s policy would seek to guarantee the price of rubber at 60 baht per kilogramme whereas the guaranteed price of rice should be at a minimum of 10,000 baht per ton.
Wages for labourers should not be less than 120,000 baht per year, if not the government will pay for the difference, he said.