Updated: The budget and the monarchy

9 06 2017

Reuters has helpfully dug through the draft budget to report on funds to the monarchy. We reproduce much of it below:

Thailand’s junta plans to allocate more than $123 million for the monarchy in the 2018 budget, an apparent cut of more than 14 percent from this year, figures published on Thursday showed.

Thailand makes public few details of the finances for its monarchy, whose assets, estimated at more than $40 billion, rank it among the world’s richest.

Since taking the throne in December, King Maha Vajiralongkorn has set about restructuring the palace and in April, parliament agreed to transfer to him control of royal agencies managed by the prime minister and defense ministry.

A draft of the annual budget allocated 4.19 billion baht ($123 million) to the monarchy for “security fundamentals”, but gave no explanation of what this comprises.

The figure compares to 4.89 billion baht for the fiscal year from October 2016 to September 2017, a decrease of more than 14 percent. Last year, the figure was given under national security as being for “upholding and preserving the monarchy”.

It was not made clear whether funding on any of the other budget lines would directly or indirectly benefit the palace.

Update: In comments posted to Political Prisoners of Thailand, our mirror, Somsak Jeamteerasakul says that the Reuters report misses much. He demonstrates a royal budget increase of some 28%.


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