MP calls House sub-committees ‘dens of money extortion’
A Democrat MP yesterday pointed the finger at closed-door meetings of House sub-committees and called them “dens of money extortion.”
Rangsima Rodrasamee, Democrat MP for Samut Songkhram, insists all meetings of sub-committees vetting the 2023 budget bill, after it passes its first reading, should be televised live.
The Democrat MP says broadcasting the meetings live would scrutinise how the bill is deliberated until it is passed or rejected, and help improve transparency and prevent any corruption.
On day 2 of the 3-day debate on the bill, Rangsima says the rooms, where closed-door meetings of the House sub-committees vetting the bill are conducted, are “dens of money extortion.”
The 59 year old politician also urged the Budget Bureau to make more of an effort to follow up on how the approved budget will be spent. As an example, she used a 15 million baht farm product market approved for Samut Songkhram five years ago. Rangsima says it is now a deserted area and suggests the Office of the Auditor-General and the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) take a look into the project.
Rangsima’s claim wasn’t the only worthy news story of note as the budget bill debate heated up yesterday. The opposition accused the government of failing to generate enough income and incurring more debt to fund its projects.
Jiraporn Sindhuprai, a Pheu Thai Party MP for Roi Et, says the bill was a tool created by the government to force taxpayers to cough up even more money, directly and indirectly.
“It’s been clearly proven that the Prayut administration can’t generate income and lacks vision. And after living on the money kept in reserve until it’s time to find more money, it is now considering raising taxes.
“If former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra was given the chance to stay in power for up to eight years as Gen Prayut Chan o cha has, Thailand’s economy would not have been in such a state.”
PM Prayut urged the opposition to stick to debating the 2023 budget bill and stop exploiting it as a forum to woo voters for a future general election.
He hit back insisting the government has improved the country’s development, saying it was unfair to mislead the public by repeating the same groundless accusations.
“We only collect slightly over 10% income taxes while high-income nations collect more than 30%. So how could this be seen as us forcing taxpayers to pay an unfair rate?”
Source Bangkok Post
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