The Move Forward Party (MFP) has promised a new welfare package with comprehensive coverage across all age groups.
Highlights include a 1,200 baht monthly child support grant, longer maternity leave and a 3,000-baht monthly pension for the elderly, says the party leader, Pita Limjaroenrat, who unveiled the election welfare manifesto at a child care centre at Wat Lat Phrao in Lat Phrao district yesterday.
He said the welfare policy forms part of a series of nine strategies launched by the MFP.
Even though the welfare policy focuses mainly on children, parents and senior citizens, it is closely associated with politics and the decision-making process.
Mr Pita said that last year the country's birth rate dropped below the death rate for the first time.
He believed parents were having fewer children out of concern for high child-rearing costs and life security, a problem which can be tackled with an effective welfare policy.
He said the MFP's welfare policy will minimise wealth inequality and provide fair opportunities for people who contribute to the economy and drive the country forward.
"We are proposing an achievable policy that can be subsidised by the government's budget. The welfare policy will improve the wellbeing of people from birth to death," said Mr Pita.
The party has called the welfare policy the "Progressive Thai Policy", covering five stages of life from infancy to the elderly. The policy consists of 19 sub-categories.
The welfare policy promises to raise the minimum wage to 450 baht with a yearly increment. Workers will be given social security insurance where they can reimburse medical care. A workers' union will also be established in every industry.
The policy will provide a 3,000-baht monthly pension for the elderly and a system that looks after bedridden patients. Also, a maximum 10,000 baht will be offered towards funeral service costs.
MFP deputy leader Sirikanya Tansakul estimated it will cost around 650 billion baht of the government's budget to finance the Thai Progressive Policy.
The budget will be acquired from funds saved after trimming unnecessary costs such as downsizing the military or improving the tax system.