Money, money, money

The military junta has proposed a deficit budget bill to its puppet parliament., with 3-trillion-baht spending earmarked for the next fiscal year that begins in October.

The sleepy National Legislative Assembly didn’t need to be awake for it was always going to vote for the junta’s budget bill. The Bangkok Post produced this handy table:

From the Bangkok Post

Under the budget, which is meant as an “election” budget, there are some expected increases and some unexpected declines.

Much attention has been to security budgets. $10 billion went to defense and security, with $7 billion to the military, continuing the rises that began in 2014. $7 billion  represents a $1 billion increase since the junta seized power.

The other $3 billion goes to “new threats”, “internal peace and order”, preventing transnational crimes and cyberattacks, as well as “protect” the monarchy.

An unexpected decline is to the Ministry of Agriculture, where Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha is campaigning hard.

The line that hasn’t yet received much attention is the monarchy. “Royal agencies” are up by 6.4% to 6.8 billion baht or about $200 million if our calculations are right.

Of course, there’s way more than this as virtually every ministry sets aside loot for the royals, celebrating them, protecting them or promoting them. Money in Thailand flows like a river to the already rich.

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