12 July 2024

The pro-Prayut Palang Pracharat party has come up with a set of populist policies ahead of the general election just nine days away, including a daily national minimum wage of 400-450 baht.

When unveiling the policies at the party’s HQ today, party leader Uttama Savananaya asserted that they are not pipe dreams and will be implemented if the party is in the next government.

The party also promises a 20,000 baht starting salary for BA graduates, 12,000 baht for a tonne of paddy, 65 baht per kg for para rubber and a minimum of five baht for a kg of oil palm seeds.

However, Setthakij Mai (New Economy) party leader Mingkwan Saengsuwan pleaded with political parties not to promise increases in the minimum wage, warning that it is unwarranted and would fuel ruinous inflation.

“Please do not (increase minimum wage to 425 baht).  You will need to be prepared to pay 100 baht for a bowl of noodles because inflation will be very serious and Thailand may become another Venezuela,” said the former Thaksin administration’s commerce minister via Facebook today.

The Palang Pracharat’s populist policies have also come under fire from Democrat deputy leader Korn Chatikavanich who said minimum wage rises, which contradict the current administration’s wage policy, affect three groups of people, workers, business operators (including SMEs) and taxpayers.

Korn said that SMEs are being hardest hit by the current slow economy, adding that the Democrat party is proposing a tax cut for SMEs from 20 down to 10 percent and a guarantee that wages do not fall below 10,000 baht a month.