One controversial topic last month was the pay rise for the executives of the Tambon Administrative Organizations (TAO). From what I read about that in the English news, it sounded like that only the TAO mayors (นายกองค์การบริหารส่วนตำบล) will get a raise by about 100% to about 18,000 Baht per month. This drastic raise as well as the weak rationale for it - to bring the salary of the TAO leaders back in line with those of municipalities and Provincial Administrative Organizations who got a similar raise earlier last year - of course asked for criticism. As the Political Prisoners blog stated, these leaders of the local administration units are quite often the ones who control the votes in their area. Even though vote buying is of course illegal, these local influential politicians control the vote mongers, as well as could already help a candidate simply by their vote recommendation.
Now I could find the corresponding announcement in the Royal Gazette - interestingly already signed December 3, so two weeks before it was first discussed in cabinet - it shows a somewhat more differentiated picture. Strangely the announcement on the previous raise does not include the actual salaries, but it was 6 years ago, so the 100% raise reduces to a 16% annual raise, still not bad but much less outrageous. And, it is not just the TAO mayors who get a raise, also its deputy and the chairman and councilors of the TAO council get a higher salary or allowance; and the actual salary also depends on the income of the TAO, so by far not every TAO mayor will receive the 18,400 Baht, those in the least productive TAOs will just get 15,800.