By The Nation
A majority of Thai people want the government to tackle the rising cost of living, according to a survey by Suan Dusit Poll.
The poll was conducted between November 12-16, on 1,207 people throughout the country to collate their opinions on the economic problems facing the country and their suggestions.
More than 65 per cent cited the cost of living as their biggest issue since the cost of goods increased when higher tax is levied. They suggested price control, lower fuel prices and serious action against capitalists taking advantage of people.
Some 39 per cent worried about the economic slowdown, as the government has been unable to resolve the problems, deal with the baht's appreciation, the decline in tourism, in addition to the weakening world economy. They suggested that the government come up with more effective policies, optimise national budget usage and tackle corruption.
Nearly a third of the respondents, 31.76 per cent, cited unemployment caused by the weakening economy and companies going out of business as their big worries. They suggested that the government find ways to create new jobs and issue remedial measures. They also urged unemployed people to be less picky about the jobs they sign up for at this time.
About one-fourth of respondents, 25.68 per cent, fretted over the drop in people's incomes. They suggested that the government take action to increase salaries and labour wages, lower taxes and interest rates, extend loan repayment periods and issue remedial measures for the poor.
About 31.76 per cent said the fall in exports, trade and investments due to the global economic situation, drop in foreign investments and the baht appreciation, which has hurt profits, as worrying factors. They suggested that the government strengthen investor confidence, boost tourism and launch economic stimulus measures.
When asked what actions the government should take, 54.34 per cent suggested price-control measures to lower the cost of living; 38.14 per cent called for urgent measures to create jobs; and 31.15 per cent suggested improving the quality of life.
Asked to name the agencies who should solve the problems, 47.90 per cent named Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha; 32.84 per cent suggested government ministries such as Finance, Commerce, Labour, Industry and Agriculture, and 24.94 per cent mentioned the opposition, especially the Pheu Thai and Future Forward parties.