Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has floated the idea of raising the value-added tax (VAT) rate by one percentage point from the current 7 per cent to 8 per cent to raise an additional Bt100 billion in annual tax revenues to finance various public projects.
Having spent 75% of Thailand’s cash reserves in just under three years the PM is now urging the public to help shoulder the burden so that the ‘government has more financial resources to implement projects requested by the majority of people.’
He then insisted that businesses should not take advantage of a higher VAT rate and should avoid raising prices of goods and services, thus absorbing the tax themselves.
This, of course, should have led to questions such as, ‘in that case why don’t you leave the tax on goods alone and increase the corporation tax of your Yellow Shirt friends who own all the businesses instead?’ But nobody asked that.
According to the premier, the VAT rate has remained unchanged at 7 per cent for many years so it should be adjusted to bring in more tax revenues. However, he insisted that the government’s fiscal position remains sound.
On the other hand Finance Minister Apisak Tantivorawong shared the startling fact that the country now has only THB75 billion in reserves. However, Decharut Sukkumnoed, an economics professor at Kasetsart University, noted that the government had THB495 billion when the junta seized power in 2014.
Report shared by BangkokJack News Team