11 July 2024

10 days before the national budget bill for 2020 fiscal year is due to be debated in parliament, Opposition leader Sompong Amornvivat announced today that his MPS will not vote for the bill “because the Opposition has never voted in support before”.

Mr. Sompong, who is also Pheu Thai party leader, said that the Opposition’s refusal to vote for the budget bill might not, however, cause the bill to be rejected.  If the bill fails to go through the House, though, he said he was not sure whether Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha would show responsibility (by resigning) “because, on several previous occasions, he did not show any responsibility as he should have done.”

While insisting that he did not object to defence spending to procure new armaments, Mr. Sompong said that the spending must be appropriate, citing the case of submarines from China, a purchase with which he disagreed because it was unnecessary.

Mr. Sompong accused the government of attaching too much importance to defence spending, rather than spending to spur the economy and help improve the people’s quality of life.

He also said the debate, scheduled for October 17th and 18th, should be extended by another day.

The Prime Minister, meanwhile, said the cabinet today approved the budget bill so it will be ready for debate in parliament as scheduled , adding that he didn’t want to go into details about the figures in the budget, noting that they could be decreased or increased when the bill is considered by the scrutiny committee.