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Thosaporn Sereerak Sparks Debate on Thailand Parliament’s Lavish Catering Budget Amid Food Waste Concerns

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Imagine you’re in a world where opulent feasts are laid out daily, with aromas wafting through grand halls, only for these culinary displays to often end up barely touched. This isn’t a tale from a medieval court but rather a contemporary saga unfolding within the august walls of Thailand’s Parliament. An issue that has stirred considerable debate among the public and lawmakers alike revolves around the Parliament’s catering budget. Despite urgent pleas for pragmatism to curtail waste and better allocate public funds, the budget for meals and drinks for lawmakers remains untouched.

At the heart of this gastronomic drama is Pheu Thai MP for Phrae, Thosaporn Sereerak, who voiced concerns during the scrutiny of Section 30 of the Budget Bill for the 2024 fiscal year. Thosaporn pointed out a rather unsavory fact: the considerable amount of food that ends up uneaten and wasted. Although MPs are allowed the rather noble option of taking this excess food to those in need, Thosaporn argues that this stop-gap solution hardly addresses the root of the waste issue, suggesting instead a reduction in the funds earmarked for such extravagant dining.

In a twist that would rival any courtroom drama, Deputy House Speaker Pichet Chuamuangphan leaped to the defense of the catering budget. He presented the unpredictable schedules of MPs and senators as a prime reason for the necessity of ready, convenient meals. Despite acknowledging the problem of food waste, he touted the current ‘solution’ of allowing parliamentary staff to ferry home the leftovers.

The plot thickens with the proposal of a budget cut for a housing project meant for parliamentary officials, adding another layer to this multifaceted debate on fiscal responsibility and environmental stewardship within the hallowed halls of Parliament. The move, championed by Pheu Thai MP for Nong Bua Lam Phu Phitsanu Hatthasongkroh, hinged on the completion of an environmental impact assessment, sparking yet another lively round of voting that saw the section pass with 283 votes in favor.

Adding a dash of social media spice to the mix was a viral clip featuring Move Forward Party (MFP) MP Sirilapas “Mew” Kongtrakarn, who was seen taking food from the canteen home. This viral moment shone a spotlight on the lavish 108 million baht catering budget for the 2023 fiscal year, outlining a feast fit for kings with a daily per head budget of approximately 1,000 baht for meals and snacks.

The dessert course of this opulent banquet of debate? A staggering 34.8 million baht dedicated to catering for House committee meetings and an additional 1.26 million baht to cater to the culinary needs of opposition whips. This financial pie, when sliced, sheds light on a broader discussion: the pursuit of sustainability and financial responsibility within the frame of governance and public service.

As the Parliament’s dining halls continue to be a stage for both political maneuvering and culinary excess, one wonders if the path to reform might just begin with taking a careful look at our plates. This saga, rich with implications for governance, fiscal responsibility, and environmental stewardship, thus continues to unfold, one leftover at a time.


  1. ThaiFoodLover March 22, 2024

    I understand the need for convenience given the MPs’ hectic schedules, but hasn’t the world moved past the point of justifying wastage with convenience? There are so many sustainable and cost-effective ways to manage food!

    • BudgetHawk69 March 22, 2024

      Totally agree! It’s all about finding a balance. There’s absolutely no need for a 108 million baht catering budget. That money could be put to better use, especially in educational or environmental initiatives.

      • ThaiFoodLover March 22, 2024

        Exactly! It’s not about denying MPs food but promoting responsibility. Perhaps a system where they pay for what they order? This way, they might only order what they actually intend to eat.

    • DefenderOfTheStatusQuo March 22, 2024

      But isn’t this just a drop in the ocean? The total budget for the country is massive. Cutting back on catering savings is minimal in the grand scheme of things. Aren’t there bigger issues to address?

      • EcoWarrior March 23, 2024

        It’s not just about the budget but setting an example! If the government can’t show fiscal and environmental responsibility, how can we expect citizens to follow? It’s about the principle.

  2. CuriousGeorge March 22, 2024

    I wonder if the MPs have considered more modern solutions like meal vouchers or partnering with local businesses for meals. It could reduce waste and support local eateries.

    • ThaiFoodLover March 22, 2024

      That’s a brilliant idea! It could really boost local businesses and provide MPs with a greater variety of meal options. Less waste, more taste!

  3. SkepticalCitizen March 22, 2024

    Does anyone else think this whole thing has been blown out of proportion? MPs work hard and should have meals provided. The focus on this issue feels like a distraction from more pressing national matters.

    • InvestigativeMind March 23, 2024

      While MPs certainly work hard, transparency and accountability in how public funds are spent should always be a priority, no matter how ‘small’ the issue might seem.

    • BudgetHawk69 March 23, 2024

      Not at all! Every baht of public money needs to be accounted for. It’s not about distrusting MPs, but about ensuring public funds are used as efficiently as possible.

  4. EnvironmentalEagle March 22, 2024

    The environmental impact of this food wastage is appalling. While it’s good that some surplus food is taken home, a better waste minimization strategy is urgently needed.

    • WasteNotWantNot March 23, 2024

      Completely agree. Food waste contributes to CO2 emissions and takes up landfill space. Parliament should lead by example and implement zero-waste policies.

  5. Realist123 March 22, 2024

    This issue is indicative of a larger problem. It’s not just about food; it’s about the careless attitude towards public resources. Time for a systemic change.

    • SkepticalCitizen March 23, 2024

      I think you’re overstating the problem. Yes, improvement is good, but let’s not make mountains out of molehills. The government has bigger fish to fry.

  6. CulturalCommentator March 23, 2024

    One can’t ignore the cultural aspect; sharing meals is a part of Thai culture. However, the tradition shouldn’t justify overindulgence and waste at the taxpayers’ expense.

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