Letters to the Editor
Let's get the basics right first
I agree with Abhisit Vejjajiva that the government's Bt20-trillion spending plan is superfluous. How can you invest trillions of baht on high-speed trains that carry fruit and vegetables?
Here's what the government should do (actually, I stole the idea from Abhisit). Give every Thai a cheque for Bt10,000. Our population is about 67 million, so we have an instant Bt670-billion economic stimulant.
The government has been heavily criticised for its populist policies: the rice-buying scheme and tax rebate for first-car buyers. Why not appease the elite too? The government should subsidise first-time owners of exotic cars and luxury homes. It should shoulder half the cost of homes worth more than Bt50 million and waive import tax for first-time exotic-car owners. Qualified elites can buy a Lamborghini Aventador for a mere Bt12 million instead of Bt40 million, a Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe for Bt15 million instead of Bt50 million, a Bugatti Veyron for Bt30 million instead of Bt100 million. Panthongthae Shinawatra should not qualify, since he's already owns a few Ferraris.
I'm not too thrilled about high-speed trains because we already have high-speed passenger vans and high-speed buses. The government should invest in a dual-track rail system and trains that depart and arrive on time and have clean toilets, no lice and no cockroaches.