Pay boost plan needs 'more time'

Pay boost plan needs 'more time'

The government needs more time to consider input from experts in relevant agencies before pushing ahead with the plan to raise the wages of low-salaried civil servants, said Deputy Prime Minister Pranpree Bahiddha-Nukara yesterday.

He also said he was waiting to see the expenditure plan for the next fiscal year before giving the plan the go-ahead.

When asked if the higher wages would be approved by the time the bi-monthly salary payment begins at the start of next year, he said it would depend on the opinion of experts from relevant agencies.

Officials from the Finance Ministry, Office of the National Economics and Social Development Council, the Budget Bureau and the Office of the Civil Service Commission (OCSC) met yesterday to discuss the matter.

However, they did not reach a conclusion, so another discussion will be held in the next two days, focusing on budget management and a possible rate hike.

The wage hike for civil servants is a campaign pledge of the Pheu Thai Party, along with the promise to boost the minimum monthly salary for university graduates to 25,000 baht by 2027.

The party also pledged to create 20 million jobs and distribute a 10,000-baht digital cash handout to everyone aged 16 and over.

Experts have urged the government to implement the hikes progressively, as doing so in one go will place an enormous burden on the budget. It has been estimated about 100 billion baht would be needed to cover the hikes.

At the meeting, the OCSC suggested decreasing the number of civil servants while boosting productivity and cutting down on redundancies.

As of March, the civil service employed 3 million people, about 1.75 million of whom were permanent staff.

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