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Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin Unveils Controversial 2025 Budget Bill Amid Fiscal Debate

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Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin took center stage on Wednesday as he presented the highly anticipated 2025 Budget Bill to parliament. The atmosphere buzzed with anticipation, but not all of it was positive.

Opposition leaders, notably Chaithawat Tulathon of the Move Forward Party, raised eyebrows and concerns about the government’s hefty borrowing plan. With a proposed budget of 3.75 trillion baht and an eye-popping 865 billion baht in loans, Chaithawat minced no words. “The government’s borrowing is inching dangerously close to the ceiling. We’re talking about just a 5 billion baht cushion if things go south,” he warned.

Chaithawat pointed out that this planned borrowing marked a 7.8% increase from the previous year—a surge not seen in a decade. “The repayment burden will weigh heavily on future finances, squeezing the government’s flexibility for any urgent payments or large-scale investments,” he elaborated.

A specific point of contention was the digital wallet handout—a one-time, 500 billion baht disbursement aimed at stimulating the economy. “It’s risky business, using contingency funds for short-term economic gains,” Chaithawat argued. “You can’t rely solely on consumer spending to turn the economy around. This doesn’t align with our national needs.”

His critique wasn’t isolated. Joining the chorus of concern was Democrat Party leader Jurin Laksanawisit, who stressed that this digital wallet scheme could balloon public debt. “The government seems to be penny-pinching in the 2024 fiscal year just to splurge on this digital wallet plan,” he noted. “Such spending strategies could stifle GDP growth.”

Despite the pushback, Prime Minister Srettha defended the bill with unwavering resolve. Presenting the budget, he painted a picture of economic revival under the “Ignite Thailand” vision. According to him, the 10,000-baht digital wallet handout, set to benefit 50 million people, would energize the grassroots economy across the nation.

Srettha also assured parliament that the country was in robust financial health. “As of December 31, 2023, our foreign reserves stand at a solid US$224.48 billion,” he said. This, according to him, places Thailand in a steady position to make significant investments. The 2025 budget earmarks 908.22 billion baht—or 24.2% of the total budget—for investment, the highest proportion in 17 years.

As both sides of the parliamentary aisle took their stances, the debate revealed the deep divides over the nation’s fiscal direction. It was not just a discussion about numbers; it was a clash of visions for Thailand’s future. Whether the 2025 Budget Bill will truly “Ignite Thailand” or figuratively “Ignore Thailand” remains to be seen. One thing, however, is certain: the stakes have never been higher.


  1. Joe June 19, 2024

    This budget is a disaster waiting to happen! Srettha’s plan will sink our economy.

    • Linda K June 19, 2024

      I couldn’t disagree more, Joe. The digital wallet handout will boost consumer spending and help lift many out of poverty.

      • Bob June 19, 2024

        Linda, consumer spending only provides short-term benefits. What about long-term investments?

      • Joe June 19, 2024

        Exactly, Bob! Linda, you’re being naive thinking this will solve our economic problems.

      • Linda K June 19, 2024

        Short-term boosts can pave the way for long-term growth. Consumer spending drives demand, which can encourage more investment.

    • grower134 June 19, 2024

      You all are missing the point. The real issue is the country’s mounting debt. We can’t just keep borrowing.

  2. Sophia R June 19, 2024

    I don’t understand why everyone is so against this. It’s only logical to use available funds to jumpstart the economy during tough times.

    • ChaithawatFan June 19, 2024

      Because short-term solutions don’t usually solve long-term problems. What happens when the funds run out?

    • Hermione June 19, 2024

      Sophia, injecting money into an already weak economy without a sustainable plan is reckless. History has proven such tactics fail more often than not.

  3. MrSerious June 19, 2024

    Fiscal responsibility seems to have gone out the window. 865 billion baht in loans is simply too much!

    • Sarah J June 19, 2024

      It’s not about loans per se, it’s about how they are utilized. If managed well, the benefits could outweigh the risks.

    • MrSerious June 19, 2024

      That’s a big ‘if’, Sarah. The current government hasn’t shown that they can manage these funds responsibly.

  4. Zara K June 19, 2024

    What happens if consumer spending doesn’t increase as expected? The whole plan could backfire.

  5. Paul T June 19, 2024

    Digital wallet handout might sound good, but how many people really understand using digital wallets? This assumes too much.

  6. EconomicGuru June 19, 2024

    Srettha’s plan is a calculated risk. Research shows consumer stimulus can lead to overall economic growth.

    • Larry D June 19, 2024

      Stimulus or not, the debt ceiling is too close for comfort. What happens in a financial emergency?

    • EconomicGuru June 19, 2024

      Larry, that’s what contingency planning is for. Robust financial health backs these moves as per Srettha’s claims.

  7. Tom H June 19, 2024

    The Move Forward Party is right here. We can’t mortgage our future like this.

  8. Jane789 June 19, 2024

    People need immediate relief, not promises of long-term investments that may or may not pay off.

    • EconStudent June 19, 2024

      Long-term investments are crucial for sustainable growth. Immediate relief is just a band-aid solution.

    • Jane789 June 19, 2024

      EconStudent, people can’t wait for the long-term; they need help now.

    • ChaithawatFan June 19, 2024

      Agree with EconStudent. Srettha’s plan is just a populist move for quick approval.

  9. Trader Mike June 19, 2024

    I’m worried about how this will affect the Thai baht. Increased debt could weaken our currency.

    • CurrencyKing June 19, 2024

      Mike, you’re right. Currency depreciation is a real concern with high borrowing.

    • FinanceGal June 19, 2024

      Currency dynamics are complex. If the economy strengthens, the baht could actually stabilize.

  10. Emily June 19, 2024

    This is a gamble. It’s worrying how quickly the government is willing to push near our debt ceiling.

  11. Alex P June 19, 2024

    I think visionaries like Srettha are what we need. Sometimes bold moves pay off.

    • Linda K June 19, 2024

      Glad someone else sees the potential. Bold moves often come with high rewards.

      • Joe June 19, 2024

        Or high consequences. Don’t forget that, Alex and Linda.

  12. CynicJoe June 19, 2024

    Just another typical political maneuver. They promise the moon but deliver very little.

  13. Priya M June 19, 2024

    What’s the guarantee that this digital wallet program reaches everyone? Digital divide is real.

  14. FutureThinker June 19, 2024

    We need to innovate and take risks to move forward. The old ways haven’t been working.

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