TDRI urges increase in minimum pay

September 9, 20165:09 pm446 views

THE THAILAND Development Research Institute yesterday urged the government to consider a belated increase in the minimum wage, based on cost-of-living rises in each province in the past three years. “This could be a good New Year gift to all workers,” said Yongyuth Chalamwong, research director at the TDRI.

Since the cost of living has increased at different rates in each of the 77 provinces, workers in each province would enjoy a different raise.

Since the Bt300 minimum daily wage went into uniform effect in 2012, it has stayed there. One reason for not adjusting it is the lacklustre economy.

“In my opinion, if we wait until the economic situation improves, people whose income is based on the minimum wage will get poorer. The government should launch an automatic wage increase based on the Consumer Price Index in the past three years,” he said.

It’s up to employers if they want to lift wages even higher, in order to boost workers’ productivity, Yongyuth said.

In his research, over the past three years, while the country’s CPI surged by 6 per cent, the CPI in Nonthaburi rose by 9 per cent against just 4 per cent in Krabi.

At those rates, those earning the static minimum wage would feel poorer every year.

It is worse for workers who do not get paid even the minimum. In his research, they number as many as 2.11 million or 14.8 per cent of the workforce. Most of them are hired by small businesses with no more than 50 employees.

In some outlying provinces, more than half of businesses were found to be unable to offer their staff the minimum wage – 67 per cent of enterprises in Narathiwat, 58 per cent in Mae Hong Son, 55 per cent in Pattani, 55 per cent in Yala and 55 per cent in Trang.

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