Journal of Social Sciences

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For decades, the inheritance tax issue had never materialized into law in Thailand. It was only soon after the 2014 military coup by the National Council for Peace and Order that Prayut Chan-o-cha Government initiated the Inheritance Tax Bill. It became law approximately one year later. This present research study used Kingdon's (2003) Multiple Streams Model, and the related literature, along with empirical information from legislative documents and interviews with decisionmakers to explain theoretically and empirically the revitalization of the effort under the Prayut Government. Kingdon's Multiple Streams framework posits that confluence of three factors or Streams determines the prominence of an issue. The present study found that, for the Problem Stream, socio-economic inequality reduction, the stated reason for the Bill, had long been in existence and remained substantively unchanged from the past. The Political Stream was found more significant in pushing the Bill into effect, because the institutional structure was favorable in the policy making process (Blankenau 2001; Ramesh 2000). In addition, the symbolic nature of the Bill in the Policy Stream deliberations made the Bill acceptable to both those with large amounts of inheritance and the policy makers, leading to its enactment. However, there was an intra-elite struggle in the policy making process (Crone 1993). The limited political capacity resulted in the symbolic nature of this new tax, compromising the Bill's objectives of socio-economic inequality reductionand the promotionof development.

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