ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Thai sustainable wages pushed
Workers in Nakhon Si Thammarat and Songkhla received the second-highest raise of 15 baht. In Nakhon Pathom, Pathum Thani, Samut Sakhon and Nonthaburi, the minimum wage was increased by 10 baht from 205 baht.
Workers in seven provinces - Phayao, Si Sa Ket, Amnat Charoen, Nakhon Sawan, Phetchabun, Uthai Thani and Prachuap Khiri Khan - received the lowest raise of 8 baht.
Yongyuth Chalamwong, a researcher at the Thailand Development Research Institute, said the latest increase in the minimum wage was the highest in many years and long overdue, as rises have usually been on a par with consumer price increases over the past nine years.
He said the latest increase did not increase tiers of wages in different provinces, so it decreased income disparity between provinces. The government should survey households to assess the level of the minimum wage, as the 6.7 percent raise was higher than in the past.
Sethaput Suthiwart-Narueput, Siam Commercial Bank's chief economist, said the tripartite wage committee's decision to increase the minimum wage would have little impact in fuelling inflation or increasing domestic demand. This is because most workers in Bangkok are already paid above the minimum wage.
He said the government should pursue policies to improve productivity so that wages can increase on a sustainable basis.
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