6 June 2024

Move Forward party deputy leader Sirikanya Tansakul has accused the government of overspending by resorting to borrowing an additional 130 billion baht to partially fund the 560 billion baht digital wallet scheme.

She said that the national budget for the 2024 fiscal year, which was originally set at 3.35 trillion baht, has been increased to 3.48 trillion by the government of Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, which means that government borrowing, to offset the budgetary deficit, will increase from 593 billion baht to 693 billion baht.

The increased borrowing will raise public debt to 12 trillion baht, or 64% of the country’s GDP, compared to 63% last year. The government’s net revenues for the 2024 fiscal year are forecast to increase by only 30 billion baht, to 2.787 trillion baht.

Sirikanya said she suspects that the increased borrowing, which will push public sector borrowing to 64% of GDP, below the 70% ceiling, will be used to only partially fund the digital wallet scheme.

The increased borrowing, she said, means that the government’s stated goal of achieving a balanced budget in the next seven years will not be realized.