A majority of Thai people do not agree with the government's plan to fund the digital wallet scheme with a 500-billion-baht loan although they still support the 10,000-baht handout, according to the result of an opinion survey by the National Institute of Development Administration, or Nida Poll.
The poll was conducted on Nov 13-16 by telephone interviews with 1,310 people aged 18 and over of various levels of education, occupations and incomes throughout the country to compile their opinion after Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin delivered a statement outlining the handout programme in detail on Nov 10.
Under the programme, the 10,000-baht handout will be offered to Thais aged 16 and older who earn less than 70,000 baht per month and/or have under 500,000 baht in bank deposits. Based on these criteria, an estimated 50 million people will be eligible -- down from the 56 million intended to receive the amount originally.
Of the respondents, 79.85% said they were eligible for the handout, 11.68% were not sure about their eligibility and 8.47% thought they were not eligible.
When those not eligible and not sure about their eligibility (264) were asked whether they felt disappointed, 68.18% said not at all; 11.36% weren't particularly disappointed; 8.71% were disappointed; 7.58% were very disappointed; and 4.17% did not know or were not interested.
Asked whether they agreed with the criteria set for eligibility, a majority – 66.33% – agreed: 40.53% wholeheartedly and 25.80% to some extent. On the other side, 20,30% totally disagreed and 12.67% to some extent. The rest, 0.69%, did not know or were not interested.
Asked about the stipulation that they can spend the 10,000-baht handout to buy only food, drinks and consumer goods, 50.69% disagreed and 49.16% agreed, while 0.15% had no answer or were not interested.
Asked about the government's plan to propose a bill to seek a 500-billion-baht loan to fund the programme, 50.69% strongly disagreed with it and another 18.70% also disagreed, but less vehemently. On the other side, 14.89% were in moderate agreement with it and 13.35% strongly supported it. The rest, 2.37%, did not know or were not interested.
Finally, when asked what they thought about the government's 10,000-baht digital money handout policy after listening to Mr Srettha's statement, 51.08% agreed with it and 48.16 disagreed. The rest, 0.76%, had no answer or were not interested.