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Budget will entrench power of military: student activists


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Budget will entrench power of military: student activists

By WICHIT CHAITRONG 
THE NATION

 

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IT TOOK lawmakers just three hours to approve the Bt3-trillion budget for next year – and with all 206 legislators voting in favour of the bill, analysts believe the military government is sticking to its old school of thought.

 

Clearly the regime does not believe in reform and is more concerned with bolstering military power, they said. The deficit-creating budget – government revenue is estimated to be just Bt2.55 trillion – is disappointing to reformers, as it obviously aims to alter nothing in the status quo.

 

“The budget structure has not changed, as the current spending item at Bt2.26 trillion still accounts for 75.4 per cent of the new budget,” Anusorn Tamajai, dean of Rangsit University’s Economics Faculty, said. 

 

Spending remains high for the salaries of government officials, which indicates the sector is still bloated and inefficient, when the authorities need to make it lean and fit for purpose. 

 

The government’s capital spending stands at just Bt660 billion or 22 per cent of the budget, when “it should be increased to 30 to 40 per cent”, he said. 

 

The government’s spending also reflects the military’s traditional way of safeguarding key institutions with resistance to social change. This is indicated by the fact that a large budget portion – Bt 329.2 billion or 11 per cent – will be spent on national security.

 

Rangsiman Rome, activist and Thammasat law graduate, said that far too much has been earmarked for national defence for a country not facing the threat of war. There is also no transparency in spending on security issues and this could mean the government is using taxpayers’ money for its own political gains – such as luring more politicians to its camp in preparation for the general election, he said. 

 

The government has also allocated Bt40 billion to the Pracharat Projects, which aim to support people participation, but this again could be a ploy to win political support, he said. 

 

The opacity of budget spending on national security has also raised questions about corruption in public spending, as a large number of lawmakers are military officers, he said.

 

Instead, he said, the government should spend more to boost the quality of education. 

 

“The Education Ministry already gets a large share of the budget, or Bt297.4 billion, but this should be increased further,” he suggested. 

 

Netiwit Chotiphatphaisal, a Chulalongkorn University’s student activist, said the Defence Ministry’s budget of Bt117.6 billion should be cut by half.

 

“The ministry’s budget has been increased every year under the current government, and the number of Army draftees has also been rising. The government has been expanding the military in order to rule by fear,” he said. 

 

Instead, he said, more funds should be allocated to public health, considering the financial difficulties faced by many state-run hospitals. 

 

“After the elections next year, the new government will have to correct the current regime’s mistakes, otherwise people will lose faith in politicians,” he said. 

 

Thammasat University student Parit Chiwarak, who is also president of the Student Union of Thailand, agreed that the funds earmarked for the Defence Ministry should be cut and more spending should be directed towards public welfare and education.

 

He also questioned the sudden increase in funds for the Interior Ministry, which has said it needs more money to support provincial development. 

 

“I suspect the money may be used for boosting popularity, as the election is approaching,” he said. The activist also said more people should participate in formulating government spending in the future. 

 

Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/business/30353385

 
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-- © Copyright The Nation 2018-08-31
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21 minutes ago, Samui Bodoh said:

"...Budget will entrench power of military: student activists..."

 

Er... Ahem... Oh... Did anyone think it wouldn't?

 

 

Indeed.

Hasn't this always the way it's been? Even under so called civilian governments. 

 

They're [activists] taken aback as this is approached in some sort of revelation. 

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Quote

"...Budget will entrench power of military: student activists..."

 

Er... Ahem... Oh... Did anyone think it wouldn't?

 

What people think and what people are willing to speak about openly are different matters.

 

These young activists are making good points about where the money is headed and how it will be used.

 

Good for them!

 

Quote

 

Netiwit Chotiphatphaisal, a Chulalongkorn University’s student activist, said the Defence Ministry’s budget of Bt117.6 billion should be cut by half.

 

“The ministry’s budget has been increased every year under the current government, and the number of Army draftees has also been rising. The government has been expanding the military in order to rule by fear,” he said. 

 

Instead, he said, more funds should be allocated to public health, considering the financial difficulties faced by many state-run hospitals. 

 

 

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10 minutes ago, Wilsonandson said:

They should also increase the police's budget so they don't have to take bribes.

Dream on. This is a greed-based culture, and that's clearly understood by all and sundry. Raising police salaries won't change a damnn thing -- they'll still be just as corrupt and useless. 

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2 hours ago, webfact said:

The government’s capital spending stands at just Bt660 billion or 22 per cent of the budget, when “it should be increased to 30 to 40 per cent”

Seemingly capital expenditure is sacrificed for throwaway populist money like the Thai Niyom scheme, most of which goes into the pockets and purses of those administering it.

Money is needed for Junta Party electioneering and expanding the military so capital investment on infrastructure suffers accordingly, as does education and health. 

What a selfish and uncaring government this is. But what to expect from officious parade ground military types who are so full of their own smugness and self-importance.

Their performance over the last four + years has been nothing short of inglorious.

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2 hours ago, webfact said:

This is indicated by the fact that a large budget portion – Bt 329.2 billion or 11 per cent – will be spent on national security.

That magic catchphrase that constantly allows the military to involve themselves in all the things that really should have nothing to do with them.

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3 hours ago, webfact said:

all 206 legislators voting in favour of the bill,

Incredible unanimity!  It's called knowing which side of your bread is buttered on.

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3 hours ago, Samui Bodoh said:

"...Budget will entrench power of military: student activists..."

 

Er... Ahem... Oh... Did anyone think it wouldn't?

Yingluck looks better all the time.  I mean as a leader.  She did knowingly allow others to break the law, but Thailand's fractured way of dealing with problems is ruining a perfectly good country.   Mr. Rome is a tremendous young man.  It will take many like him to right the wrongs of the military.  

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3 hours ago, Cadbury said:

Their performance over the last four + years has been nothing short of inglorious.

You cut that sentence short...think movie titles ?

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7 hours ago, webfact said:

The government’s spending also reflects the military’s traditional way of safeguarding key institutions with resistance to social change. This is indicated by the fact that a large budget portion – Bt 329.2 billion or 11 per cent – will be spent on national security. 

 

11% is huge under the farce of national security. Cleansing, Sterilization and Suppression all in the name of safeguarding these self imposed aristocrats and their controlling military ways. Aint that special using every ones money for their own purposes.

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No Consideration for anybody except 'the upper crust'...........

(Screw the lower class citizens.... 'keep-em poor' so they can have plenty of 'cheap' gardeners and maids)

Quoted from OP.......

"The opacity of budget spending on national security has also raised questions about corruption in public spending, as a large number of lawmakers are military officers, he said."

AND.......

“The ministry’s budget has been increased every year under the current government, and the number of Army draftees has also been rising. The government has been expanding the military in order to rule by fear,” he said. 

Does this fit the discription of a 'Military Dictatorship' ?????? Or not ?????

And YET......  TRUMP welcomed this guy to "OUR White House"......       frickin SAD...

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Thailand has long operated a near balanced budget for many years, the decision was taken last year and made public well in advance, to operate an increased budget deficit in order to grow infrastructure, a move that was welcomed and endorsed by the central bank and the IMF. https://tradingeconomics.com/thailand/government-budget

 

Second, Thailands' military spending remains under 2% and is one of the lowest in the region and is comparable with military spending by governments globally.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_military_expenditures

 

There's no news here, everything in the article is ancient history.

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13 hours ago, Wilsonandson said:

They should also increase the police's budget so they don't have to take bribes.

A bit naive as to how things work here.....

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