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Thai Government Ignoring Elderly, Refusing to Implement 3,000 Baht Universal Pension

Activists and academics are urging the Thai government to raise the monthly allowance for senior citizens from 600 to 1,000 baht to a universal pension of 3,000 baht. The current allowance is barely enough for seniors to survive with many finding supplementary income, said Nuken Inthachan, a representative from the Four Regions Slum Network, during an event organized by the Thailand Consumers Council and Thai PBS.

Theepakorn Jithitikulchai from the Faculty of Economics at Thammasat University said the pension should be given universally, not just to the poor, or else those who are erroneously left out of the program will suffer. In order to fund this pension, he suggests that the government cease offering tax deductions to the top 20% wealthiest people, and instead start collecting from those left out of the tax database.

Mr. Theepakorn believes that the 3,000 baht per person per month could even expand to 6,000 baht if people save the first 3,000 baht and the government add an additional 3,000 baht. Nimit Thienudom from the People’s Network for the Welfare State said that political parties need to be pressured to make the 3,000 baht universal pension a reality. He said that since 2020, his network has tried to make a national pension part of government policy and proposed a National Pension Bill to parliament via petition. Unfortunately, the proposal has made little headway.

It is clear that the current allowance for senior citizens is barely enough to sustain them. The Thai government should work towards implementing the 3,000 baht universal pension for the elderly, as this would vastly improve their quality of life and reduce financial burden. It is time for the Thai government to take action and ensure that the elderly receive the financial assistance they need.

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