Chula academic tells election winners to put their money where their mouth is
An economics academic from Chulalongkorn University is determined to hold the two major partners in the next coalition government to account for their pre-election promises.
Assoc Prof Piti Srisangna, director of the International Economics Centre of Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Economics, on Monday reminded the Move Forward and Pheu Thai parties to keep a long list of promises after they form a coalition government.
The two parties look poised to form the next government as a coalition, winning nearly 60 per cent of House seats. Move Forward leads unofficial ballot counts with 151 MP seats followed by Pheu Thai with 141 MPs.
Piti said he has jotted down the key promises made by the two parties during their election campaigns and he would be tracking their implementation.
He posted on his Facebook wall that the next coalition government formed by the two parties should provide Thais the following benefits:
• Minimum wage will immediately rise to 450 baht per day. People who work more than 40 hours per week will get overtime and the minimum wage will increase every year and reach 600 baht per day by 2027.
• University graduates will get a starting salary of 25,000 baht per month. There will be one million more jobs for Thais.
• Farmers will see their income increase by 30,000 baht per year and they will not have to repay debt for three years. Within four years, their income would increase three fold.
• Conscription will be scrapped. The military budget will be slashed but Thailand will have stronger and more modern armed forces. Civilians will control the armed forces via reforms.
• Young children will get a monthly allowance of 1,200 baht and the elderly 3,000 baht.
• Female employees will be entitled to 180-day maternal leave, or they can request pregnancy termination within 12 weeks.
• University students and school pupils will get free classes, and each teacher will get a tablet computer.
• Students will have free lunches and there will be free buses taking students to and from school.
• There will be one scholarship for studying abroad for each district.
• Some 10-50 million rai (1.6 million to 8 million hectares) of land will be distributed to landless farmers.
• A new Constitution will be written and Article 112 of the Criminal Code will be amended.
• The government will use artificial intelligence and blockchain technologies to fight corruption.
• Informants will not be exposed and the Royal Thai Police will face an overhaul.
• The fare of all electric trains will be a flat rate of 20 baht and there will be electric buses in all provinces.
• Power bills will fall by 0.7 baht per unit immediately. Oil and gas prices will also fall.
• Tap water quality will be improved to be drinkable in all areas.
• People will be allowed to make and sell their own local liquor.
• Air will become cleaner with no more PM2.5 dust.
• People will be able to use just a citizen ID card to receive free medical treatment and free medicine from online channel and hospitals.
• People will receive free annual medical check-up as well as free mental health check-up. The free check-up will include testing for six cancer types.
• Transportation fee will be provided for travelling to receive medical check-up.
• Retired government officials will receive pension for a longer period.
• People who are 16 years old and above will get 10,000 baht cash for spending within a 4-kilometre radius of their houses. Receipts for every 500 baht spending would be entitled to prizes in a lucky draw.
• All provincial governors will be elected and each tambon will get an additional 20 million baht development budget each year.
• Thai passports can be used to enter every country in the world without entry visa requirement.
• Some 200,000 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will receive 100,000 baht fund each per year and 25,000 SMEs will each get one million baht funding per year.
At the end of his post, Piti noted that the two parties have declared that they have channels to raise funds for the spending without raising the income tax.