Minimum wage could rise to 800 baht a day if Pheu Thai elected: Thaksin


Former premier Thaksin Shinawatra was quick to raise the projection his daughter made yesterday that the daily minimum wage could nearly double to 600 baht under a Pheu Thai government.

It could rise to 800 baht a day, Thaksin said.

The minimum wage currently ranges from 328 baht a day in less developed provinces to 354 baht in the wealthiest.

Thaksin made the comment during a Facebook broadcast hours after his youngest daughter – Paetongtarn Shinawatra – made her minimum wage projection during a speech at Pheu Thai party’s head office.

Paetongtarn was outlining her vision for the future of the political party – Thailand’s largest – as it prepares for next year’s general election.

Minimum wage could rise to 800 baht a day if Pheu Thai elected: Thaksin

Nearly doubling the minimum wage and raising monthly salaries for university graduates to 25,000 baht were two of many policy goals she announced in her speech. These two goals were met with widespread skepticism.

Thaksin fired back, saying critics of the wage hikes lacked knowledge of economics and “compassion for their fellow human beings”.

“Phue Thai can expand Thailand’s economy even amid a global recession. In four years, we will boost economic expansion to 5% on average a year, possibly 7% in the first year because we will be starting from the low base created by the military government,” Thaksin said.

This growth would generate more growth, which would cause wages to rise, Thaksin said, adding that an expanding economy would attract more than 300,000 university graduates into the workforce each year.

“When new graduates are employed, the economy will grow further and make it possible to raise wages,” Thaksin said.

Thaksin said the minimum wage would rise due to demand for workers, explaining:

“The government is not directly responsible for these wages. If the economy expands, private companies will compete against each other by raising salaries to attract new talent,” he said. “Those who continue to pay low wages will be left without capable employees.”

Thailand is expected to hold a general election on May 7 next year. The Constitution stipulates that an election must be held within 45 days after the House of Representatives’ four-year term ends. The current term ends on March 23, 2023.