The wage increase that came into effect on Jan 1 means Thai workers will receive a daily minimum wage of 300 baht, an amount that is about 30-35% higher than in the past and three to five times higher than the minimum wage in neighbouring countries.
Many have criticised the government's minimum wage policy as potentially "destructive", saying it will lead to higher unemployment and price rises that will burden consumers. Others say it is about time workers got a fair wage to match the rising costs of living.
While it is too early to perfectly assess the real benefits and costs of this particular policy, the Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI) has conducted simulations to predict possible consequences for the economy if the 300-baht wage policy is fully implemented across the country. In this piece, we look briefly at the "Good", the "Bad" and the "Ugly" effects of the wage hike.
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