Thai Inflation: Phuket may be at the forefront next year

PHUKET: A national committee on public-sector compensation is expected to seek Cabinet approval on Tuesday to raise the salaries of all civil servants, MPs and senators by 5-14.9%. If approved, it will cost taxpayers an extra 13 billion baht a year, according to a well placed government source.

The proposal comes on the heels of news earlier this month that Phuket will soon have the highest minimum wage in Thailand. The provincial minimum wage rose 8.33% on December 10 when Bangkok’s Central Wage Committee awarded Phuket workers the largest increase in the nation, to 221 baht per day with effect from January 1.

The minimum wage in Bangkok rose 4.57% to 206 baht per day.

The approved minimum wage increases nationwide will inject an additional 6.9 billion baht into the Thai economy, alongside another 7.7 billion in statutory hikes for the country’s 2 million foreign workers.

The wage increases, coupled with what now looks to be a better-than-expected outlook for tourism in Phuket, could put the province at the forefront of inflation in Thailand next year.

Tuesday’s cabinet decision is likely to add fuel to the fire. The near-certain compensation increases for government employees will affect, among others, all civil servants and staff of the executive, judiciary, and legislative branches, as well as soldiers, teachers and state prosecutors, who are expcted to see an increase of 5% across the board.

Legislators, i.e., all parliamentarians, are tipped to get an increase of 14.7-14.9% in salaries and other benefits.

In addition, there will be upward salary adjustments for leaders of independent bodies such as the Election Commission and National Anti-Corruption Commission.

It is also proposed that the salaries of Tambon Administrative Organisation officials, including those in Phuket, be increased from 9,000 to 18,000 baht per month.

— Nation / Gazette Reporters

Phuket News

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