Govt confirms B400 minimum wage by October
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Govt confirms B400 minimum wage by October

Spokesman says some businesses affected by higher costs might be eligible for help

Labourers work at a construction site in Bangkok. (Photo: Bloomberg)
Labourers work at a construction site in Bangkok. (Photo: Bloomberg)

The government plans to increase the daily minimum wage to 400 baht nationwide from October but some affected businesses might get help, spokesman Chai Wacharonke said on Thursday.

The national tripartite wage committee will meet this month to assess which industries are prepared for the increase and what assistance could be offered to those that are not ready, he said.

The current minimum wage rates ranging by province from 330 to 370 baht, approved by the committee late last year, were just 2.4% higher on average than the previous rates. Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin has complained that the increase was insufficient.

A 400-baht minimum wage is currently in effect in parts of 10 provinces, but it applies only to tourism-related businesses and four-star hotels with at least 50 employees.

In a Labour Day statement released on Wednesday, Mr Srettha said workers deserved to have a decent income.

“I will never forget the promise to raise the minimum wage and salary, reduce your expenses, and boost your income because I understand your struggle to have a good life,” he said.

The ruling Pheu Thai party campaigned on a promise to bring the minimum daily wage to 600 baht by 2027.

It had been speculated earlier that the government would make the 400-baht rate nationwide on Labour Day.

However, Labour Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn said on Tuesday that the increase was unlikely to happen until Oct 1.

The tripartite wage committee — comprising representatives of the government, employers and employees — is scheduled to meet on May 14 to discuss the issue further, he said.

Proponents of a higher minimum wage say that putting more money into workers’ pockets will spur consumption at a time when the economy is struggling to find momentum.

The Ministry of Finance this week cut its economic growth forecast for 2024 to 2.4% from 2.8%, but said growth could still reach 3.3% if its signature 500-billion-baht digital wallet handout designed to boost spending is launched in the fourth quarter as expected.

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