Most Thailand property owned by wealthy minority: Report
Sun Sep 2, 2012 3:6PM
In order for the country to pull itself out of the political abyss and division, it has to start by land reform and equitable distribution of wealth." Kriangsak Chareonwongsak at Development Studies InstituteRecent studies in Thailand show a widening gap between its rich and poor, with the upper class holding most of the country’s national assets, Press TV reports. According to the study carried out by the Thammasat University, the nation’s richest 20 percent own more than half of the value of all household assets, including houses, land, cars, and cash. “With less than three years to go, Thailand, an Asian economic community, must address challenges and bridge the development gap,” Development Studies Institute’s Kriangsak Chareonwongsak said. “In order for the country to pull itself out of the political abyss and division, it has to start by land reform and equitable distribution of wealth,” he added.
The study points out growing difficulties for a nation heavily dependent on its agricultural sector, when at least 80 percent of the land is owned by 10 percent of the population.It also suggests a one percent tax on rich household assets, which could raise a USD 6 billion to be used to aid the poor through social welfare programs. Analysts doubt the taxation plan will be adopted by the government because a number of politicians own noticeable amounts of property themselves. The government of Yingluck Shinawatra last year with massive support from Thailand’s countryside. SZH/JR