Should rich also get digital handout? Public evenly split: poll

Should rich also get digital handout? Public evenly split: poll

Supporters of the digital wallet scheme voice their demand that the 10,000-baht handout go ahead at the headquarters of the Pheu Thai Party on Oct 17. (Photo: Somchai Poomlard)
Supporters of the digital wallet scheme voice their demand that the 10,000-baht handout go ahead at the headquarters of the Pheu Thai Party on Oct 17. (Photo: Somchai Poomlard)

Most people are of the opinion that the 10,000-baht payout via the government's digital wallet scheme should be paid to people of all groups regardless of their incomes or bank deposits, according to an opinion survey by the National Institute of Development Administration, or Nida Poll.

The poll was conducted between Oct 31-Nov 2 by telephone interviews with 1,310 people aged 18 and over of all levels of education, occupations and incomes throughout the country to compile their opinion on criteria for the payout.

Asked what criteria should be used to pay out the money under the scheme, the answers varied as follows:

• 50.08% said it should be paid to people of all groups regardless of their salaries or bank deposits
• 26.64% said it should be paid to only low-income people or holders of a state welfare card
• 14.66% said those with a salary from 50,000 baht a month or with bank deposits of 500,000 baht and over should be left out  
• 8.01% said those with a salary above 25,000 baht a month or with bank deposits of 100,000 baht and over should be left out
• 0.61% did not know or were not interested

Asked about where the digital money should be allowed to be spent,

• 69.85% said it should be accepted at any shop in the country without limitations
• 14.50% said it should be accepted at shops in the province of home registration
• 13.59% said it should be accepted at shops in the district of home registration
• 2.06% said it should be accepted within a 4-kilometre radius of the recipient's residence

Asked about the time limitation for use of the 10,000-baht digital money they prefer, 62.60% said six months; 37.09% one year; and 0.31% did not know or were not interested.

Under the scheme, all Thai citizens who are 16 and over will receive a one-time 10,000 baht digital token, wired into their digital wallets through the use of blockchain technology, to be spent on buying goods and services within six months at registered shops within a 4km radius of their residences.

Many questions have been raised about the feasibility of the scheme, particularly about how it will be funded. The government has been unable to provide clear explanations.

On Saturday, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin said the details of the project, including how it will be funded, will all be announced at a specially arranged press conference on Friday.

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