About fifty representatives from the academia, civil society, the public and private sector in Thailand met early September to discuss possible futures of an alternative tax model for the country. The group forms a policy community that was conceived in 2015 as a joint undertaking by Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Thailand Office, Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI), and Faculty of Economics, Thammasat University. The aim was to create a group of policy advocates in favor of building an accountable tax system that promotes equality and sustainable growth in Thailand.
Since February 2016, four meetings have taken place to discuss different aspects of relevance to the taxation system in Thailand, including:
The September meeting was a crucial part of the project, where all points and ideas put to the table at previous meetings were combined together and synthesized into a comprehensive joint policy proposal.
During the discussion, it became clear that taxation policy reforms can become an important tool to address current and future challenges, especially in terms of providing public goods, such as high quality social welfare and education as well as support for innovation and infrastructure. Increasing the tax revenue in a just, efficient and sustainable way has therefore been an important issue during the discussions.
As Thailand is slowly yet inevitably moving towards an aging society, demographic factors, together with other future challenges of structural change due to digitization and automation underline the importance of discussions on a just tax model for the future. The policy community plans to publish a policy paper in November 2016 and launch it at a public forum in Bangkok.
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