Uttama eyes tax adjustments

Uttama eyes tax adjustments

New minister also pledges to reassess minimum wage

Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana speaks at a forum held on Saturday in Bangkok to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Market for Alternative Investment.
Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana speaks at a forum held on Saturday in Bangkok to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Market for Alternative Investment.

Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana on Saturday pledged to consider adjusting income tax and corporate tax to bring the two rates closer.

The maximum bracket for income tax is 35% while that of the corporate tax is 20%, he said.

The impact of any adjustments to these taxes, including those on state tax revenues, will be carefully examined before any changes are adopted, Mr Uttama said.

The newly-appointed finance minister mentioned the possibility of adjusting the two taxes in a speech he gave during the event celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Market for Alternative Investment.

"When it comes to tax adjustments, we have to be very cautious and make sure any changes will be suitable and balanced," he said.

When asked if any new economic stimulus measures is required at the moment, the minister said he would have to wait until he starts work at the ministry first.

He said any new economic stimulus package will have to be designed to serve specific target groups. The government would also have to ensure it is provided in sufficient amounts.

At this point, all he could say was that new stimulus measures would have to be consistent with the available budget and realistic and effective to deal with the extremely volatile economy.

Multiple stimulus measures may be launched one after another so they can cater to the changing economic situations at various points in time, he said.

The minister also mentioned the possibility of raising the minimum daily wage rate.

The Palang Pracharath Party, which he leads, pledged during its election campaign to raise to the minimum daily wage to 400 baht, up from 308 baht at present.

He reiterated that parties in the coalition government will discuss ways to begin progressive adjustment of the wage to that target.

The minister, however, emphasised that the wage adjustment will be implemented along with a push to improve labour skills of workers.

Mr Uttama, meanwhile, gave assurances that small- and medium-sized businesses will have better access to sources of funding for business development.

The Finance Ministry with Mr Uttama at its helm is expected to have its hands full managing the country's economy.

The ministry, which ranks third in terms of total budget allocation with 242.8 billion baht for the 2019 fiscal year, has only one deputy, Santi Promphat, who is a list-MP of the ruling Palang Pracharath Party.


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