Property developers call for a gradual increase in the minimum wage

SUNDAY, MAY 21, 2023

Executives in the Thai property sector on Saturday called for the new government to be formed as quickly and smoothly as possible, and advised it to raise the minimum wage gradually to prevent a sudden surge in costs.

Worawut Kanchanakul, president of residential developer W House, said the new government should increase the minimum wage gradually, so entrepreneurs will be able to cope with rising construction costs.

The new government should tackle cost of living issues first, he added.

Worawut said he wants to see the government formed smoothly to gain the confidence of domestic and foreign investors.

He expects the new government to be formed by August, but if it takes longer it could have a damaging impact on business and government spending, he said.

"If the new government arrives sooner, many problems could be resolved quickly," he said.

Government Housing Bank inspector and Real Estate Information Centre acting director, Wichai Wiratkaphan, said he is worried about a delay in the formation of a new government.

This could set back approval of the government budget for fiscal year 2024, he said.

A delay in approval of the government budget could depress the property sector and lower Thailand’s GDP, Wichai explained.

"It is hard to tell how fast the economy will recover because politics is a sensitive matter," he said.

He advised the new government to consider the effects of raising the minimum wage, saying it will push up costs for small entrepreneurs and reduce the number of jobs.

However, he did not expect raising the minimum wage to impact the property sector because most developers pay their workers a higher rate than the official minimum wage.

"We believe that the new government will increase the minimum wage appropriately, not in one immediate increase," he said.

Property developers call for a gradual increase in the minimum wage

Peerapong Jaroon-ek, president of the Thai Condominium Association, said he hopes the new government will be formed quickly and smoothly. The new government should implement economic stimulus measures as soon as possible so that the economy can recover, he said.

"I want the new government to increase the minimum wage gradually,” he said, adding that an abrupt rise could trigger inflation.