Junta gets fat-cat allowances
CNS, state-body wages are six times that of 1991 leaders
The Cabinet has approved salary payments totalling Bt38 million a month for leaders of the military government and appointed bodies.
[See the allowance chart]
A decree passed yesterday stipulated salaries for members of five junta agencies, including the ruling Council for National Security (CNS).
According to Prime Minister's Office Minister Khunying Dhip-avadee Meksawan, the decree covers the CNS along with the National Legislative Assembly, the Assets Examination Committee, the Constitution Drafting Assembly and the Constitution Tribunal.
CNS chairman and coup leader General Sonthi Boonyaratglin gets a salary of Bt119,220 per month.
His deputy Air Chief Marshal Chalit Phukphasuk will receive Bt113,640 and the other CNS members Bt109,560.
The salary for National Legislative Assembly chairman Meechai Ruchuphan is Bt115,920, while his two deputies take home Bt110,390. The other 97 members' get Bt104,330.
Assets Examination Committee boss Nam Yimyaem receives Bt108,500 a month and his 10 committee members Bt104,500 each.
When appointed, the chairman of the 100-member Constitution Drafting Assembly can expect Bt110,390 and his two deputies Bt106,390. Members will receive Bt104,330.
The Constitution Tribunal president will earn Bt114,000 and the vice president Bt109,500. Other judges will receive Bt104,500.
The decree becomes effective after publication in the Royal Gazette.
Dhipavadee revealed that the Cabinet did not consider claims that CNS members should not be paid.
Putting the payments into perspective, members of the National Peace-keeping Council - which grabbed power in the 1991 coup - were paid Bt20,000 a month, according to its spokesman General Chamlang Ouchukomol. He received Bt12,000 a month.
He said the relatively high salaries demanded junta leaders and their administrators have to work hard to justify such taxpayer expenditure.
Supreme Commander General Boonsrang Niumpradit, a CNS member, had not expected a monthly salary. However, CNS members acknowledged the money as part of government regulations, he said.