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  1. #1
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    Thailand Extends Measures to Curb Cost of Living

    Thailand Extends Measures to Curb Cost of Living
    Tuesday December 15, 2009

    BANGKOK -(Dow Jones)- Thailand's Cabinet Tuesday agreed to extend measures initiated last year to help reduce the cost of living for its people by another three months to the end of March next year, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said after a weekly cabinet meeting.

    The government will determine later whether the measures will need to be further extended as the economy has shown signs of recovery, Abhisit told reporters.

    The measures, which started taking effect in the second half of last year, include providing free electricity and water to households that have less consumption; free travel in public buses in Bangkok; free rides on the cheapest, or third-class, public trains; and a freeze in cooking gas retail prices.

    The government will, however, lower the level of household consumption of water supply eligible for the subsidy program during the three-month extension period, said Abhisit.

    smartmoney.com

  2. #2
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    Well that saves Laosy's family exactly 0.00 baht.

  3. #3
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    http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/loca...elief-measures


    Cost of living measures extended



    The cabinet has approved the extension of cost of living relief measures, which include free electricity for low-users and limited free bus and train travel until the end of December 2010, government deputy spokesman Watchara Kannika said on Tuesday.


    The cabinet also agreed to freeze the price of NGV (compressed natural gas for vehicles) and cooking gas for another six months, from August to February, as proposed by the Energy Ministry, Mr Watchara said.


    In addition, the cabinet endorsed the appointment of members of the national reform panel chaired by former prime minister Anand Panyarachun, and the national reform council committee, headed by senior citizen Prawes Wasi, he said.
    "Slavery is the daughter of darkness; an ignorant people is the blind instrument of its own destruction; ambition and intrigue take advantage of the credulity and inexperience of men who have no political, economic or civil knowledge. They mistake pure illusion for reality, license for freedom, treason for patriotism, vengeance for justice."-Simón Bolívar

  4. #4
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    Shit, I've never had a free lecci' bill...you've gotta be under 300bht how the hell is that possible..I have energy saving everything that I can and our bill at the cheapest is 700+ a mth....Ok the Mrs is at home all day with the nipper so the TV is no doubt on 80% of the day...ah, that ain't fair she ain't that bad...

    I do know many people who (thai's) do get the free bill electric and water...and they seem to be chuffed...one of our neighbours got all excited when his bill came and it was...and I kidyou not...299.89 bht...he was over the moon.
    There are no strangers here, just friends you haven't met yet.

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    My lecci bill is always 4,000 Baht a month plus.....2 aircons plus assorted electricity hungry gadgets certainly keep the meter moving. I've given up cost cutting...

  6. #6
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    ^ Ah, SD I won't have air-con nor will the Mrs...can't stand it...gives me a sore throat and a cough too many times...

    Plus the name just erk's me..anything that has the words 'con' at the end of a product just strikes me as suss...

    Shit the worlds geting hotter...turn up the air con...that's making the world hotter.....catch 22....

  7. #7
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    http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/loca...m-taxstructure


    Govt under pressure to reform tax structure

    Populist gestures get thumbs down

    • Published: 1/07/2010 at 12:00 AM
    • Newspaper section: News

    The government is being challenged to reform the tax structure to show it is serious about welfare for the poor following its proposal to subsidise bus, rail and electricity charges.


    Korn: Government is ‘studying impacts’


    Academics called on the government yesterday to consider tax reforms to disprove the critics who claim the latest proposals are just part of an election campaign stunt.

    Narong Petpraset, an economist at Chulalongkorn University, said the government should do better than imitate Thaksin Shinawatra's populist policies. It should set up a welfare state.

    Tax reforms are needed if the government is to enable a welfare state which provides people with the services it has promised, he said.

    Less than 10 million people today pay individual income and corporate taxes.
    Mr Narong said there is no such thing as "welfare for all". Welfare is paid for by taxes.

    If people are not aware that welfare provided by the state is paid for by taxes, measures rolled out to help them will be branded as "populist", he said.

    "I wish the Democrat-led administration can do better than Thaksin and go beyond the populist policy to create a welfare state," he said.

    Mr Narong's comments follow the government's suggestion on Tuesday to subsidise bus and rail fares and electricity rates for the poor on a permanent basis. The proposal was greeted by immediate scepticism as the general elections are expected within the year.

    The cabinet has resolved to extend free public bus and rail travel and waive electricity bills for the poor for a further six months to the end of this year. It is considering making the waivers permanent.


    See also:
    Populist steps hardly help


    Mr Narong said the country's spending plan stands to be affected if the government fails to review the tax structure.

    Bundit Thanachaisetthawut, of the labour non-governmental organisation, Arom Pongpangan Foundation, said proposed long-term measures for the poor will amount to just "mega-populist" gestures if the government stops short of revising the tax structure to boost incomes.

    "The measure may help reduce the gap but the government needs to look for ways to raise incomes to make it sustainable," Mr Bundit said.

    Thawee Surarittikul, a political scientist at Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University, said the renewed measures to help the poor are more of an election gimmick than an attempt at sustainable welfare.

    He said the government is gearing up for a general election and is expected to produce similar offers during its remaining months in office.

    Mr Thawee said it is possible the Democrat Party's platform will shift to supporting a welfare state as the elections draw near.

    Chonlawit Jianjit, a social scientist at Srinakharinwirote University, said the measures are bad for the poor and will spoil them.

    "They will wait for state help. We saw that with the Thaksin regime when communities were really weakened," Mr Chonlawit said.

    He warned the measures will affect the government spending over the next 12 months since they are not part of the budget plan.

    Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva insisted yesterday the fare and electricity waivers were proposed with the intention to tackle poverty, not to win a popularity contest.

    He said it will be decided in six months if they will become permanent.
    Tackling economic inequities is part of the prime minister's proposed road map to national reconciliation.

    Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanij said the government will study the impact of the measures on the government's budget spending.

    He said the implementation of the measures on a permanent basis requires careful thought.

    "We have to see if we have the budget to shoulder the expenses," he said.
    He said the government will conduct a study to find out whether the number of subsidised units should be lowered to ensure the electricity cuts benefit those who need it.

    Mr Korn said the Energy Ministry has been instructed to study the possibility of separating consumers of cooking gas into two groups: household and industry.

    Household consumers would pay less and industries pay more.

    "The government has to take care of the poor and the underprivileged," he said. "The economic gap is there and if there is a way to bridge it, then we are obliged to do so."

  8. #8
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    http://www.bangkokpost.com/breakingn...r-welfare-cost


    Govt 'can afford welfare cost'



    The government budget is able to meet the extra expense of the planned permanent cost of living relief measures for the poor, as the cost is not that high, finance permanent secretary Sathit Limpongpan said on Friday.
    Mr Sathit was responding to concerns that the cost would add to the government debt.


    “The current outstanding public debt of the government is now 42 per cent of gross domestic product, much lower than the set ceiling of 60 per cent.
    "The relief measures are aimed at helping low-income earners and they would help reduce the problem of social inequality,” he said.


    The finance secretary was confident there would be no recurrence of the infamous “tom yam kung crisis” of 1997 as the country's financial institutions are strong and exports continue to grow.


    He expected the economy would grow by 5.5 per cent to 6 per cent this year.

  9. #9
    Thailand Expat jandajoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr R Sole
    you've gotta be under 300bht how the hell is that possible
    Just checking here in the village and I'm being told that you won't get a bill if it's under 200 baht.

    Does this sound right.

    Seems like it could be wide open to scamming.

  10. #10
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    Janajoy; you are starting to think like a Thai politician. Those meters showing consumption below the payment level are candidate to be reported several times for the government payment. I t would be interesting to see how, to whom, etc payments are made and safeguards in place to prevent scamming.

  11. #11
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    PM confident of government's ability to resolve debts outside legalised financial system

    PM confident of government's ability to resolve debts outside legalised financial system

    วันอาทิตย์ ที่ 04 ก.ค. 2553



    BANGKOK, July 4 - Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said Sunday that he is confident of his government's ability to successfully use its ongoing measures to assist debtors outside the conventional legal financial system as it has already helped resolve problems for some 200,000 debtors who have registered with it.

    Mr Abhisit said during his weekly TV and radio address that his government had already discussed the public's financial concerns with relevant agencies and believes it could help resolve the debts for another 200,000 people after the additional public assistance measures are issued before the end of July.

    The major problem is whether that guarantors for the debtors as details are being worked out as to whether any state agency can serve as their guarantor, Mr Abhisit said, adding that if guarantors could be found an additional 100,000-200,000 debtors could enter the system.

    Regarding those debtors who have already left the government-sponsored debt restructuring assistance programme, Mr Abhisit said close monitoring will be made to determine how effectively they might lower their debts.

    “So far, measures solving debts outside the legalised system are achieving a very great success,” said Mr Abhisit, adding that his government is confident it could help solve the people’s burden.

    Regarding the Cabinet decision made last Tuesday extending measures to lower the cost of living for low-income earners for another six months -- until the end of December, Mr Abhisit said he had ordered government agencies to study if the measures could impact monetary and fiscal policies if they are made permanent.

    The economic assistance measures include free electricity for households using less than 90 units per month, free transportation on 800 public buses on 73 Bangkok routes, and free passage on 172 daily third-class railway trains.

    The Cabinet also approved freezing prices of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and natural gas vehicle fuels beginning in September and being implemented through February 2011.

    “If resources are sufficient for local use," the prime minister said, "the public should then be able to buy them at reasonable price without depending on world prices.”

    Mr Abhisit said he is confident that measures to help low-income earners will not impact monetary and fiscal measures if they are made permanent. (MCOT online news)

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by StrontiumDog
    Mr Abhisit said, adding that if guarantors could be found an additional 100,000-200,000 debtors could enter the system.
    drop in the ocean , sadly

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by StrontiumDog
    The government is being challenged to reform the tax structure to show it is serious about welfare for the poor following its proposal to subsidise bus, rail and electricity charges.
    Quote Originally Posted by StrontiumDog
    "The relief measures are aimed at helping low-income earners and they would help reduce the problem of social inequality,” he said.
    Quote Originally Posted by StrontiumDog
    Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said Sunday that he is confident of his government's ability to successfully use its ongoing measures to assist debtors outside the conventional legal financial system as it has already helped resolve problems for some 200,000 debtors who have registered with it.
    Nice of them to take the credit for Samak's policies...

  14. #14
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    Finance Ministry to mull over free bus, train scheme
    Santibhap Ussavasodhi



    BANGKOK, 11 June 2011 (NNT) – The Ministry of Finance will discuss an extension of the free public bus and third class train services with the Bureau of the Budget and the Ministry of Transport as the measures are expiring at the end of this month.

    Permanent Secretary for Finance Dr Areepong Bhoocha-oom admitted that those measures aimed at relieving the public’s financial burden are enforced by a cabinet resolution; therefore, their extension must be decided by the cabinet.

    Dr Areepong elaborated that in the upcoming discussion, the three government units will also find other possible measures to replace the two policies pending the election and formation of a new government.

    The permanent secretary believed that people will not be much affected if the measures are not extended, especially farmers whose incomes have been increasing in line with crop prices, but people whose incomes are not rising in proportion with the inflation might suffer.

    Apart from the free public bus and third class train services, another relief measure for low-income earners is the free electricity scheme for households consuming less than 90 units each month.

    The Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA) and the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) both viewed that the relief measures should be continued, but they can ensure the service only after the Ministry of Finance has agreed to pay compensations for lost revenues.

    thainews.prd.go.th

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    Train agency's subsidy slashed
    September 17, 2013

    The Cabinet on Tuesday has slashed the subsidy for free-train services to the poor from Bt5 billion to Bt2.97 billion.

    The subsidy is for the 2013 fiscal year. The State Railway of Thailand’s request for Bt535 million funding for basic infrastructure and Bt502 million funding for its pension progarmme was denied. Meanwhile, the depreciation cost is cut from Bt617 million to Bt58 million and the interest expense from Bt293 million to Bt86 million.

    "The prime minister also asked the transport minister to review the SRT’s efficiency, following frequent accidents. Inefficient services should be scrapped for the public safety," he said.

    nationmultimedia.com

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