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Minimum wage hike to have little effect in Phuket, say business figures

Minimum wage hike to have little effect in Phuket, say business figures

PHUKET: Kittichai Leelaanantawong, Vice President of the Federation of Thai Industries Phuket chapter, claims that the minimum wage rise to come into effect on Oct 1 will not affect Phuket business operators.

economics
By The Phuket News

Thursday 1 September 2022, 04:56PM


From Oct 1, the minimum wage will rise by B18, Boonchob Suthamanaswong, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Labour, announced last Friday (Aug 26).

Minimum wages vary depending on the province. The highest current rate is B336 per day in Phuket and Chon Buri, while the lowest is B313 in the three southernmost provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani and Yala. The new rates will range from B328 to 354, reports the Bangkok Post.

Mr Kittichai believes that business owners in Phuket will not be affected by the wage hike because service workers in Phuket are skilled labour that are in great demand, according to a report by state news agency NNT.

Mr Kittichai said he already pays B600-B1,200 a day at his Pornpichai Kanchang car service centre. He says the rates which he pays are appropriate “because the jobs require expertise and rare labour [skill sets], which cannot be paid according to the minimum wage”.

“This makes the wage adjustment have no effect in any way, because service workers in Phuket are skilled labor that are in great demand,” Mr Kittichai said.

Phakdi Rittisman, owner of the Sure Garden restaurant in Phuket Town, agrees.

MACNELS SHIPPING PHUKET

“The wages for service workers in Phuket are already higher than the minimum wage, which means the wage adjustment will not affect operators in the service sector,” Mr Phakdi said.

However, Mr Phakdi does foresee the wage hike affecting other industries.

“Overall, I think that the increase in wages will affect entrepreneurs in other areas, such as the real estate and construction industries, because they are still in a period affected by the increase in raw material prices in the current economic conditions,” he said.

Regardless, Mr Phakdi agrees with the increase in the minimum wage.

“This nationwide minimum wage adjustment will result in an increase in spending by workers, especially in light of the rising cost of living,” he said.

“Meanwhile, the economic situation in Phuket will be better from being fully open [to tourism] after the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has now passed,” he concluded.

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