Govt Spokesman Denies '200,000 Baht Per Day' Food Budget

(27 August) The spokesman
of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has refuted the allegation that Cabinet members are entitled
to an excessive 200,000 baht per day budget on daily food.

The allegation was spread widely
on the social network, fanned mostly by anti-government groups. These critics charged that Ms.
Yingluck and other Ministers are treated to numerous luxurious meals each day at work.

Some
versions of the rumour also comes with a photo showing a wide array of food allegedly served at the
Government House.

Mr. Teerat Ratanasevi, Ms. Yingluck′s spokesman, responded by posting a
photo of a humble noodle dish on Twitter, saying that it is the kind of cuisine he and other
officials, Ms. Yingluck included, eat everyday at work.

I tell the housekeeper at my office
to buy food for me every lunch, Mr. Teerat said.

He further explained that the Government
House does have a special budget for the meals served in events that the government welcomed its
dignitaries. However, he stressed that the special set of menu is not as extravagant as the
ant-government critics have alleged.

For example, he said, the government provided rice with
fried chicken and black pepper, and some fruits, to representatives of the industrial sector who met
with the Cabinet last month.

Moreover, the Government House only pays for the Cabinet
members? food on days of Cabinet meetings, according to Mr. Teerat.

As for the photo of
luxurious meals forwarded by many anti-government critics, it appears that the photo in fact belongs
to a menu of a certain restaurant, our correspondent reports. The photo has also been attached in
separate rumours about Ms. Yingluck′s excessive meal budget in late 2011.