TDRI: Thai people saving more

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BANGKOK, July 3 – Cash saving among Thai people has been on the rise in the last two decades but the government should upgrade the country’s educational standard to narrow the gap between the rich and the poor, according to an academic of Thailand Development and Research Institute (TDRI).

Chaiyasit Anuchitworawong said the number of households with zero savings–which was as high as 48 per cent in 1988–has fallen to 25 per cent in 2009.

Savings in households have risen 10 times from an average Bt507 per month in 1988 to Bt5,145 in 2009, representing a 12 per cent increase annually partly thanks to people’s higher income.

The gap on savings between the rich and the poor remains wide mainly due to inequality in education among Thai people, he said.

In 2009, saving in the richest group was Bt6,300/person/month while those in the poorest group earned too little to save.

In the same year, 94 of the poorest households owned financial assets at less than Bt50,000 and 30 per cent of those in the richest group owned assets at higher than Bt100,000.

Mr Chaiyasit said the government should urgently upgrade the level of Thai educational standard and expand the taxation base especially among higher income people.

The increased revenue should be spent for welfare to the poor and underprivileged people, he said. (MCOT online news)