Govt wage hike to cost B20bn

Salary increases for government officials may cost Thailand an additional 20 billion baht annually, but the tab wouldn’t start running until six months later than normal.

Rungson Sriworasat, permanent secretary for finance, said Wednesday the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO)'s initiative to raise wages for about two million government workers would begin in April 2015, rather than October this year.

Studies found hiking salaries 8% across the board, Mr Rungeson said, would cost about 20 billion baht. Pensions, cost of living allowance and other allowances will also be revised up in line with the NCPO policy 

He said the delay in hiking salaries was due to bureaucratic red tape. The Bureau of the Budget, Comptroller General's Department, Office of the Civil Service Commission and the economic division of the NCPO have yet to even debate it.

Mr Rungson said that the salary increase would focus on low-paid bureaucrats struggling to adjust to rising costs of living.

Under the plan, supplementary cost-of-living allowances for government workers also would rise from 1,500 to 2,000 baht per month, he said.

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