BANGKOK (The Nation/Asia News Network): Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-O-Cha (pic) said on Monday (Jan 17) that the timing was not right for a hike in salaries and wages, as the country cannot bear the additional financial burden.
Prayut was reacting to growing criticism that the government had failed to rein in prices while people’s salaries and the minimum daily wage had failed to keep pace with costs.
“Where will we get the money from to increase wages?” Prayut posed, adding whether his critics could find sources of money to facilitate the salary hike.
The Prayut government has increasingly come under fire over the rising price of pork, a staple food for a large section of the population.
Prayut said the government had studied the causes behind the rising pork prices and would be taking action to address the issue.
He said the government was considering whether to ban the export of pork and allow imports to address the supply shortage, which has pushed up prices.
The government has also taken measures to support small-time pig farmers by supporting the production of piglets for the farmers to raise and sell to the pork market.
He clarified that a swine disease outbreak was not the main cause of the pork shortage because the disease had killed only 20 per cent of pigs.
“The government is trying to figure out what has affected the pricing system in the pork market, which has also led to an unreasonable hike in the prices of other goods,” Prayut said.
He said he had assigned the Commerce and Agriculture ministries to jointly probe the cause of the increase in prices. He warned of legal action in cases of unjustified hike in prices.
Prayut said he did not think the price rise could be blamed on a hike in the price of diesel, as the goods price increase margin was higher than that of the revised oil price.