Political parties fighting shy of strong stance on much needed public sector reform

Political parties seem hesitant in taking a strong stance on much-needed public sector reform.

Political parties campaigning for Thailand’s general election on May 14 are focusing on populist policies, including cash handouts, farm and energy subsidies, and short-term measures to tackle immediate issues. Thailand’s public sector has long been criticised for being oversized, inefficient, and lacking transparency. Annual government revenue is spent mostly on routine expenditure, including compensation for state officials and operating costs, leaving little for capital spending. Political parties have pledged to reform the public sector. The leading Pheu Thai Party has promised to modernise the sector, while the Move Forward Party aims to cut military spending and liberalise the electricity business. The Chart Pattana Kla Party is campaigning on reforming the energy sector by imposing taxes on oil refinery companies that are generating unusual profits. Regulatory reform is also a key area of focus for critics who blame the outdated laws and regulations for imposing high costs on businesses and consumers, leading to bureaucratic delays and inefficiency.

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