Academic: Wage rise must come with assistance for employers

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BANGKOK, 7 June 2011  – An academic has insisted that the popular policy to increase the minimum wage must also be accompanied by assistance measures for entrepreneurs in order to equally benefit all Thai people. 

Research Director for Labor Development of the Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI) Yongyuth Chalaemwong expressed concerns over the minimum wage hike policy widely promoted by political parties ahead of the 3 July election. He explained that although such a policy would benefit workers across the country, no measures had been prepared for helping over 300,000 entrepreneurs cope with the higher cost of labor. Therefore, the Director encouraged the incoming government to concurrently have a concrete assistance package for employers, such as the provision of tax cuts and soft loans.

Politicians’ advertisement of the wage rise is also deemed as an illusion since the decision whether or not to adjust the wage rate entirely rests with the Central Wage Committee. Mr Yongyuth added that any increase of the minimum wage should be conducted in accordance with the cost of living and should be fair for employees and employers alike. If the ultimate goal was to reduce the living expenses of workers, he suggested that the new government focus on improving their social welfare and quality of life.