Opposition leader urges government to tackle inflation ‘immediately’ and stop lying to the people

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The Sarng Anakot Thai Party said the government lied about the current economic crisis and urged policymakers to immediately tackle inflation before it spirals out of control.

“When there is any problem, the government must contain the problem and speak the truth instead of providing false hope to fool people that the problem will improve by itself,” wrote Sarng Anakot Thai party deputy leader Santi Kiranand on his Facebook page.

Thailand’s headline consumer price index (CPI) surged more than the market forecast in May, rising by 7.10 per cent from a year earlier, due to higher energy prices, the Ministry of Commerce said on Monday.

It was the highest rate since July 2008. In the first five months of 2022, headline inflation rose by 5.19 per cent from the prior year.

“This means the current high product prices will continue to be high,” Santi said.

He urged the Bank of Thailand (BOT)’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) to hike the country’s benchmark lending rate to help curve inflation.

The MPC is meeting on Wednesday and has maintained a policy interest rate at a record low of 0.5 per cent to help stimulate the economy.

Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith said on Tuesday that financial institutions and Specialized Financial Institutions should maintain their interest rates to help business operators and economic recovery.

Santi, a former senior executive vice president at the Stock Exchange of Thailand, said he disagreed with the BOT’s assumption that the high inflation situation is only temporary.

He said the high level of income inequality means that most people in the country are poor and the majority of them cannot afford the rapid rise in living costs.

The problem is made worse by the high level of household debt which reached 90 per cent of the gross domestic product in the third quarter of 2021.

He said the government must pay more attention to low-income earners who are suffering the most right now.

“The country is facing an economic crisis and they cannot just let things take their course,” he said.

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