Banks to appeal to rich elderly to forgo allowance
In a fresh attempt, the Finance Ministry will call on financial institutions to encourage wealthy elderly people to forgo old-age living allowance so it can be redirected to the needy.
The Finance Ministry will open a new round for those who want to forgo the old-age living allowance late this month, said Lavaron Sangsnit, director-general of the Fiscal Policy Office.
The Social Development and Human Security Ministry earlier sought to persuade wealthy elderly people to forgo their monthly living allowance to contribute to those who are in need, but a meagre 800 have so far agreed to donate the allowance.
The government is seeking a way for Thais to maintain living standards post-retirement. It aims to give a monthly handout of 1,000 baht to all elderly who are in need, regardless of age.
All Thai elderly are entitled to the living allowance, with 600 baht paid monthly to those aged 60-69, 700 baht to those 70-79, 800 baht to those 80-89 and 1,000 baht to those 90 and older.
The Finance Ministry spends 70 billion baht a year to pay old-age living allowance to 7 million recipients, of whom 4 million are those who also hold welfare smartcards.
The ministry has asked for the Thai Bankers' Association to collaborate, Mr Lavaron said.
He said senior citizens can express their intention to forgo the living allowance at banks where they have accounts, and the banks will coordinate with related state agencies to redirect the forgone allowance to the Pracha Rat (People's State) fund to ensure that the donation will go to the needy.