The sinking Samak government has decided a… rescue package, to help low income households and… businesses.
-The government will pay water bills for low-income households that consume fewer than 50 m3 liters each month.
-It will do likewise for households that consume fewer than 80 units of electricity a month. For those using up to 150 units a month, the government will pay half.
-The government decided not to remove subsidies on household cooking gas. It says prices will remain at today’s level.
-free public transport on non air-conditioned buses. In all, the poor can ride about 800 buses plying the capital’s streets for free.
The state will reimburse the bus companies. It expects the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority to shoulder losses of Bt1.4 billion.
-Third-class train seats to all destinations will be paid for by the state.
And last but not least… massive diesel subsidy.
-The excise taxes for gasohol and other biofuels will be cut by Bt3.30 per litre to almost zero. The tax for diesel, which is widely used in the transport sector, will also be cut by Bt2.30 per litre. The tax for biodiesel will also see a similar cut. (source Nation, Bangkok Post)
Total cost of this new thai folie : around 47 billions THB for 6 months.
9,5 millions of low income households will benefit from thoses decisions. But, that’s not really the point.
On the 47 billions THB, the bulk will be spent on the tax free diesel (biofuels are for the moment virtual in term of use).
In a time when most asian countries like Indonesia, Malaysia and even China reduce their subsidies on fuels… Thailand increase them !
The whole plan is a pure economic non sense. Because, eventually, someone will pay for all those gifts ! There isn’t any free lunch.
And for what purposes ? What will happen in 6 months ? Oh yes, I forgot : oil will cost 20 USD per barrel, Thailand will enjoy a growth of 15 % per year, and every thai (children too) will win one time the lottery…
The move is pathetically obvious : gain votes for the next… general elections, after a House dissolution and a charter rewrite.
That’s the plan of Samak. The last one.