Hurry up with aid for poor, TDRI urges

Hurry up with aid for poor, TDRI urges

The Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI) has called on the government to speed up the creation of a comprehensive package for low-income people who have lost their jobs due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

A TDRI team studying the impacts of the contagion said in a statement that the government should consider boosting social security coverage for all members of the scheme, including those who are not yet qualified to receive unemployment aid.

The aid should be calculated in relation to the number of members in a subscriber's family.

For instance, if a subscriber only supports one other person, then he or she should be entitled to 1,500 baht a month.

However, the aid should rise to 2,500 baht per month for families of three to four members, and an extra 500 added for every additional member.

The aid should last for at least three months.

The TDRI team has also called on the Finance Ministry to run a thorough census check and compare this data with the one used for determining those eligible for welfare cards.

This comparison should help the government differentiate between those who genuinely need help from those who can survive on their own.

However, the team has maintained that it does not want the government to solely rely on the database of state welfare card holders as a benchmark for calculating the number of qualified families. The team said the scheme has a lot of room for improvement because studies have found that at least 4 million needy families had been left out of the scheme.

Meanwhile, those not qualifying for the aid include individuals who own a house or land worth more than 3 million baht, have savings of more than 100,000 baht or earn more than 15,000 baht a month.

So far, some 6 million to 7 million families fall below the poverty line and need assistance.

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