The military government has spent 85 percent of the funds that the Thai government had in reserves since the junta took control just three years ago.
However, despite blowing through nearly all of Thailand’s savings in just a few short years, on Monday the Finance Minister said that the government is not going broke.
Finance Minister Apisak Tantivorawong shared the startling fact that the country has only THB75 billion in reserves. However, Decharut Sukkumnoed, an economics professor at Kasetsart University, noted that the government had THB495 billion when the junta seized power in 2014.
Apisak actually said, “Having a high treasury balance is a burden on the government” since, in his mind, large savings means that the country may pay higher interest on loans and that a massive reduction in savings means that the country is using loans less, reported Khaosod English.
He said that the spending was purposeful but many people doubted this and view the new tax on plane fuel and proposed soda tax as desperate governmental attempts to raise the reserves.
The current reserves are the lowest the country has seen in more than a decade. Even in the last ten years, the second lowest savings the country had was almost double what is currently held at THB142.7 billion in 2007.
When these facts came to light Monday, PM Prayuth Chan-ocha was angry at the spending accusations and pointed the finger at farmers, flood victims and others that have asked for financial assistance from the government.
As it stands now, the current approved budget shows that the government will see a loss of THB390 billion for 2017.