11 July 2024

The government has dismissed Credit Suisse Wealth Report 2018 which put Thailand as the world’s Number One country with the highest wealth gap between the rich and the poor as “inaccurate, incomplete and unreliable”.

A part of the report regarding Thailand was posted on the social media on Wednesday by Mr Banyong Pongpanich, a former member of the State Enterprise Police and Supervisory Committee. It said saying two years ago, the one percent Thai adults (about 500,000 individuals) owned 58.0 percent of the overall wealth of the country and this year, these people’s wealth has increased to 66.9 percent of the national wealth.

Banyong said the wealth gap between the one percent rich and the 99 percent of the rest of the population this year has put Thailand on the top of the list, surpassing Russia which was on the top spot a year earlier and now dropped to second  and India which has dropped to No 4 spot.

Government spokesman Putthipong Punnakan said Thursday that, after thorough checks, he found the CS wealth report had referred to some old information dating back to the year 2006 which made the report inaccurate and unreliable.

He noted that reports from the Bank of Thailand and the International Monetary Fund which were used as reference in the CS wealth report  did not mention anything about the one percent rich people holding the largest portion of wealth of Thailand.

In reality, he said the proportion of the wealth held by the rich had reduced from 29.92 times in 2006 to 19.29 times last year.

Putthipong insisted that the government had attached importance to narrowing income disparity between the rich and the poor and income distribution as witnessed from the various programmes launched by the government to help the low-income earners such as the state welfare card programme, the allowance for retirees and occupational skill training programme.