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Thailand approves tax breaks to boost public consumption

BANGKOK — Thailand’s cabinet on Tuesday approved tax measures to help boost public consumption to support the economy as it recovers, the finance minister said.

The tax measures include a tax deduction of 40,000 baht ($1,149.4) for shoppers on goods purchases from Jan. 1 to Feb. 15, Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith told a news conference.

Land and property tax was cut by 15% with some registration fees reduced for 2023, while the tax on jet fuel was lowered to 0.20 baht per liter from 4.726 baht for six months from January, he said.

The tax breaks are estimated to cost the government 18.7 billion baht ($537.5 million) in lost revenue but would help boost spending next year and should increase gross domestic product by 0.76%, Mr. Arkhom said.

The tax measures, together with the ministry’s other support programs such as loans, should increase liquidity, spending and investment by 279 billion baht, he added.

Tuesday’s moves follow a series of earlier stimulus measures aimed at supporting Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy whose growth has lagged behind others in the region, with the crucial tourism sector only starting to rebound this year.

Last year’s economic growth of 1.5% was among the slowest in the region.

The central bank said on Monday the economy was expected to fully recover in the second half of 2023. It has forecast the economy will expand 3.2% this year, 3.7% in 2023 and 3.9% in 2024. — Reuters

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