Thai Cabinet Approves Diesel Tax Cut Extension, 5-8% Minimum Wage Hike

The Thai cabinet approved on Tuesday to extend a tax reduction on diesel by THB5 per liter for two more months and subsidize electricity bills for a specific group of people in order to lower the cost of living.

According to government spokesperson Traisuree Taisaranakul, the extension of the excise tax cut on retail diesel prices will begin on September 21 and last through November 20. She stated that the decision will result in revenue losses of approximately THB20 billion for the government.

Consumer Price Index (CPI) in Thailand rose 7.86% in August, within the expectation range of 7.7-7.9%. Inflation in August rose from 7.61% in the previous month. The average CPI for the first eight months of this year grew 6.14%.

The government also agreed earlier today to raise the minimum wage by 5% to 8% beginning October 1, causing anxiety in key sectors such as agriculture, construction, and hotels, which are already battling with rising commodity, essential components, and other needs costs.

With inflation and the global economy in a precarious state, Labor Minister Suchart Chomklin told the Associated Press that it was time to increase the minimum wage for the first time in two years.