Govt: Inequality report inaccurate

Holders of welfare cards register for electric train fare subsidies in Bangkok in July. The government says it is serious about helping the poor and bridging inequality. (File photo)

The government has rejected an international study that ranked Thailand as the nation with the most unequal distribution of wealth, saying it was based on outdated information.

Government spokesman Buddhipongse Punnakanta said on Friday that the Global Wealth Report 2018 was based on data from 2006 and insufficient information about the present situation.

Consequently, the information was incomplete and unreliable, the spokesman said. 

The report used data from the Bank of Thailand and the International Monetary Fund, but this data did not show any assets possessed by the one-percent richest Thai people, the spokesman said.

In fact, inequality in Thailand was gradually being reduced. The income gap between the richest and the poorest groups narrowed from 29.92 times in 2006 to 19.29 in 2017, Mr Buddhipongse said.

The government was serious about solving economic inequality, distributing income and implementing projects to assist the poor. These included welfare cards, vocational training, allowances for newborns and the elderly, residences and land for the poor, education funds and health security schemes.

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