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Heavier taxes on the singles not in agenda: Pheu Thai

Posted by Rattana_S On September - 7 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Pheu Thai deputy spokesman Anusorn Iamsa-ard on Saturday rebutted growing criticisms on the proposed hike in income taxes against the singles, saying that the party for now has no policy to adopt the proposal.

He said that the proposal came from an academic and it is now twisted to attack the government.

He said that growing criticisms on the social media are based on nothing, as the government has not yet considered to adopt the proposal.

“The Revenue Department’s tax collection philosophy remains focused on fair practices. It is not geared towards a group of taxpayers. All individuals, regardless of their marital status, are obliged to pay taxes. Pheu Thai Party and the government assure the public that this is not our policy. Before adopting any policy, the government thoroughly studies the pros and cons,” he said.

PT seeks Chuan’s responsibility

Posted by Rattana_S On September - 6 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Pheu Thai MP Weng Tojirakarn on Friday urged former Democrat Party leader Chuan Leekpai to take responsibility for the “improper” behaviour by some Democrat MPs.

He said that Chuan should come out to avoid social criticism that he could have supported such behaviour.

“Where is Khun Chuan? Has he gone from this world or Thailand? Why didn’t he stop Democrat MPs from resorting to violence? Five times of violent acts so far in the House chamber. I find this unacceptable. I demand manners from the opposition party,” he said.

Pheu Thai set to explain higher costs

Posted by Rattana_S On September - 1 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Pheu Thai Party’s MPs will convene on Tuesday, for a briefing on the increases of cooking gas price, expressway toll rate, and fuel tariff which took effect on September 1.

The party’s spokesman Prompong Nopparit said on Sunday that this will help the MPs explain the true reasons of the increases to the public.

The general public is grumbling on the increases, for fear of a higher cost of living.

The Energy Ministry raised the cooking gas price for household and transport use by 50 satang, to Bt18.63 per kg, to lessen subsidies as global gas prices are escalating.

Meanwhile, Bangkok Expressway, the operator of the first-stage expressway, has won the approval to raise the toll rate from Bt45 to Bt50. Under the concession, BECL is allowed to raise the toll rate every five years. The latest increase took effect in 2008.

Fuel tariffs for the September-December round are raised by 7.08 satang to 54 satang per unit, as fuel prices rose on the back of baht depreciation as well as intensifying violence in the Middle East. The Energy Regulatory Commission, which oversees the FT, reasoned that diesel costs Bt28.08 per litre compared to Bt26.51 in the previous 4-month period. Coal also rose from Bt2,217.36 per tonne to Bt2,376.26. ERC chairman Direk Lavansiri said based on the fuel prices, the tariff should have been raised by as much as 14 satang.

Speaker tries to silence Democrats as debate continues

Posted by Rattana_S On August - 31 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Jurin fights back, saying opposition has every right to question changes

Parliamentary debate on charter amendment continues as opposition MPs use filibuster techniques and government MPs push to hurry the deliberation.

Yesterday was the sixth day of discussion about the second reading of the amendment concerning the election and qualification of senators.

The debate focused on Article 4 of the amendment bill, which will remove clauses in Articles 113 and 114 of the current Constitution in relation to the senators’ selection committee. Parliament President Somsak Kiatsuranont tried to cut short the opposition Democrat MPs’ objections, saying there was no point in discussing affairs of the selection committee, as every senator would be elected.

He also refused to give Democrat MP Siriwan Prasjaksattru and appointed Senator Prasong Nurack a chance to speak even though they were next in queue, much to the chagrin of the Democrats. He then called for a break.

Somsak later allowed the debate to continue.

Opposition chief whip Jurin Laksanawisit hit back at Somsak’s actions, saying the Democrats had every right to debate the issue as the 2007 Constitution’s Article 240, listing the mission of the senator selection committee, said that a replacement should be selected if an appointed senator’s seat was empty.

Vetting committee chairman Samart Kaewmeechai explained that in the latter part of the charter amendment bill, it says that the current appointed senators will be allowed to continue with their job, but if any position becomes vacant, there will be no replacement until the end of the term.

Kamphaeng Phet Senator Krich Atitkaew said yesterday that he was losing patience and was thinking about stepping down as Senate whip because agreements made at the joint whip’s meeting had never been implemented.

Meanwhile, the Democrats voiced dissatisfaction that the government whip had scheduled the charter amendment debate to be continued over the weekend, saying the administration should not try and rush through charter amendments.

The Democrat MP for Trang Satit Wongnongtaey said the government was trying too hard to rush through the charter amendment bill instead of paying attention to solving the people’s problems.

He went on to say that lawmakers usually visited their constituencies on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays to learn about people’s problems, and that spending these days focusing on a charter amendment that focused on politicians would be selfish.

Meanwhile, government chief whip Aumnuay Khlangpha said the charter amendment debate would continue as scheduled today and tomorrow, with the session starting at 10am. No closing time has been set.

He went on to say that if the deliberation was not completed, more meetings would be scheduled, adding that he had been making compromises for the opposition.

The Senate will call a meeting to decide whether to vote on the fiscal 2014 Budget Bill after representatives of 22 Senate committees complete their debates on Monday and Tuesday.

After spending all day debating the subject, the lawmakers voted 332:108 in favour of Article 4 of the amendment. They will be resuming the meeting on Wednesday and not over the weekend as planned earlier.