THE PAVILIONS PHUKET BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET Kata Rocks
Login | Create Account Poll Currency Weather Facebook Youtube Search

Phuket Opinion: The vanishing tax

PHUKET: This week Phuket’s life guards called on hotels to have their staff join surf-rescue training, a call that makes irrefutable sense, considering it is tourists’ lives at stake – the very lifeblood of all hotels on the island.

opiniontourismaccidentsdeathmarine
By The Phuket News

Sunday 2 July 2017, 09:00AM


There are no excuses worth listening to that prevent Phuket from getting professionally trained lifeguards who will save people's lives. Photo: Tanyaluk Sakoot

There are no excuses worth listening to that prevent Phuket from getting professionally trained lifeguards who will save people's lives. Photo: Tanyaluk Sakoot

The call comes amid budget cuts for the lifeguards, which have been slashed by 10%, down to B19.8 million per year for the next three years – starting this year. The lifeguards, despite losing a growing number of volunteers who take higher paying jobs in order to support their families, went ahead with providing their critical service and make do with whatever budget they have.

But lost in the history of all this is how Phuket’s lifeguards are actually funded – through a 1% tax on all room rates charged on the island – a tax introduced by the Phuket Provincial Administration Organisation (PPAO, or “OrBorJor”) way back in 2000.

Yet much of this 1% is not collected, simply because many hotels refuse to pay. It’s not only the “illegal” hotels, many legitimate hotel operators openly refuse to pay it too, over concerns about the lack of transparency and the fact that hotels subject to the tax have no say in how it is spent.

Fast forward to present day, and as of Dec 2016 the Tourism Ministry estimates that Phuket has a total of 81,727 licensed and non-licensed hotel rooms, taking their best guess at the number of illegal hotels and private rentals.

EPL Prediction Competition 2018-2019

Right now Phuket is waiting on Bangkok to act, especially after International Surf Lifesaving Association President Henry Reyes made his direct appeal to PM Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha earlier this year. On that note, kudos to Deputy Prime Minister Thanasak Patimapragorn for stepping in to support the Phuket Lifeguard Service.

Even the most measly projections show that the PPAO, through the room rate tax, has the funds to support our lifeguards; they are just choosing not to do so. For that they should be flamed.

But that doesn’t let hotels off the hook either. None of these reasons are an excuse for any Phuket hotels to not pony up – or at least stepping up – to save the lives of their very own “guests”. Paying the room rate tax removes any excuse the PPAO might dream up for not doing its part.

Hotels should start paying this tax or start helping to protect swimmers at our beaches, or they should be publicly shamed for not doing so.

 

 

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

Comments Here:
Comments Left:
# Characters
Username:
Password:
E-mail:
Security:

Be the first to comment.

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
Phoenix finally risen from seabed

I wonder if anyone will learn from this: thai company with basic equipment = failure. Foreign compan...(Read More)


Tourist Police target rental operators over unlicensed tourists renting motorbikes

Gen Angkoon seems to think that Thais have harder heads or something as he says they're likely t...(Read More)


Ban on Loy Kratong lanterns near Phuket International Airport

Ban them kratongs everywhere! They cause environmental damage both on land and in the sea....(Read More)


Tourist Police target rental operators over unlicensed tourists renting motorbikes

Same coloured helmets, that will make revenue collection easier... but hey, think about hygiene, who...(Read More)


No passport required: Phuket Immigration confirms ‘passport on person’ not required despite ’Operation X-Ray Outlaw Foreigner’

There has never been any law in Thailand that says anyone needs to carry their passport. There IS a ...(Read More)


God is a DJ - A divine event at Dream Beach Club

I would never go into that place, a monstrosity of a building and blight on the beautiful Layan beac...(Read More)


Phuket van driver falls asleep at the wheel, slams into street lamp

I would also add that the Filipina was immediately drug and alcohol tested, her picture included in ...(Read More)


Thais arrested for charging ‘access fees’ to Freedom Beach

Paully, if stupid people want to pay 200B to enter a beach, that's their problem. Nothing wrong ...(Read More)


Phuket Marine Office urges water safety for Loy Krathong

Marine boat operators, don't worry, just hold your breath during 22 Nov only. '''Cap...(Read More)


Phuket officials unveil New Year ‘Seven Days’ road safety campaign strategy

Haha, the 2 times a year safety campaign as like people don't know to drive safe and sober! Str...(Read More)