In a recent dialogue titled “Is Thailand Ready for an Ageing Society?”, various political parties discussed their plans and promises to tackle the challenges faced by Thailand’s growing elderly population. With increasing numbers of senior citizens living below the poverty line, each party outlined their respective strategies to provide financial support, healthcare, and work opportunities for older individuals.
The Move Forward party, led by Decharut Sukkumnoed, pledged to increase the monthly allowance for senior citizens to 3,000 baht by 2027. They also intend to establish a special fund to allow bedridden seniors to access 24-hour nursing care, as well as community-based treatment centers to ensure convenient medical care for the elderly. Additionally, the party is considering offering support to help individuals clear household debts.
The Pheu Thai Party, represented by Theerarat Samrejvanich, aims to improve the 30-baht universal healthcare scheme to facilitate easier access to medical treatment for older individuals. They also plan to provide financial support in the form of “digital wallets” for those aged 16 and above, as well as tax incentives to encourage businesses to hire senior citizens.
Palang Pracharath Party’s Sontirat Sontijirawong has a tiered allowance plan based on age brackets, alongside health links for nursing care and the creation of jobs for the elderly. Furthermore, the party aims to make telemedicine more accessible to people in remote areas.
The United Thai Nation Party, with Boonyod Sooktinthai at the helm of communication, intents to revamp the social security structure to provide sustainable support for older individuals. They also plan to create a fund for those interested in starting small businesses, expand the health and wellness industry, and increase career opportunities for people beyond retirement age.
For the Bhumjaithai Party, registrar Supachai Jaisamut mentioned the establishment of a life insurance fund for those aged 60 and above, including death benefits up to 100,000 baht. They will also offer occupational support loans, dental treatment subsidies, and additional income sources such as solar panel installations.
The Democrat Party, led by Pisit Leeahtam, plans to extend the retirement age, provide an annual subsidy for elderly community clubs, establish a fund to help older farmers clear their debts, and implement compulsory savings schemes. They also aim to offer financial support or employment for retirees who lack sufficient savings.
Thai Sang Thai Party’s Pariyate Angoonkitti emphasizes a higher monthly pension of 3,000 baht for those of retirement age. The party also plans to improve the 30-baht universal healthcare system and create jobs for those not interested in retirement.
Chart Pattana Kla Party, represented by Pornchai Maranet, proposes a 5,000 baht business subsidy for hiring elderly workers who are still capable of working. In addition, lowered income tax rates for those who earn less than 400,000 baht a year, a fund for business loans up to a million baht, and financial aid for families to make their homes suitable for the elderly are all part of the party’s plans.
Lastly, the Chartthaipattana Party, with Udomsak Srisutiva as their deputy secretary-general, has devised a “wow” policy aiming to improve the financial well-being, opportunities, and welfare of the elderly. This includes extending the retirement age to 65, creating jobs for those who wish to continue working, and establishing elderly care centers throughout the nation.