Thais outraged by suggestion of single tax policy


BANGKOK, 6 September 2013 A proposal by an economic academic to increase tax rates for single citizens has sparked debate among young Thais. 

On September 5, Terdsak Chomtosuwan, an economics professor from Rangsit University, pointed out during a seminar on Thailand’s economic policies that the country was facing a labour shortage due to the growing number of elderly people and lower birth rates.

He said the kingdom has a low fertility rate of only 1.6 children per household and that many factors including the country’s economic boom are encouraging young citizens to choose work over marriage and children.

In a bid to boost the country’s revenue, the government needs to consider collecting tax from citizens who are unmarried and without children, said the professor, adding that due to the rising costs of food and utility, government agencies should launch an initiative to buoy birth rates in the form of a ‘first child’ assistance policy.

Critics have expressed outrage at Mr Terdsak’s suggestion, saying that the singles should not be forced to carry the burden of those who choose to bear children. Former senator Rabiabrat Pongpanich spoke publicly about the proposal, saying she agreed with the first child policy but feared that the introduction of a single tax would be met with fierce opposition from members of the Thai society.