A majority of Thai citizens came out in support of the proposed 10,000-baht digital wallet initiative led by the Pheu Thai administration, even as some harbored concerns about the scheme’s potential long-term effects on the Thai economy. This revelation comes from a survey conducted by the National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA), offering an insight into public sentiments.
The study, largely referred to as the Nida Poll, was administered over the phone to a diverse group of 1,310 respondents, aged 18 and above, crossing various socioeconomic lines, between the days of October 9 and 11.
Delving into the specific results, approximately 31% of respondents expressed moderate concerns about the scheme potentially doing more harm than good to the national economy, whereas about 25% voiced high levels of worry. Conversely, approximately 28.5% of the participants noted that they were not anxious about the initiative, with about 15% revealing some level of concern. A marginal 0.15% either declined to respond or displayed apathy towards the scheme.
When asked if they believe the scheme should be implemented as envisioned, about 47% affirmed this but with some tweaks, while 32.5% responded positively, crediting the Pheu Thai’s election promises. Approximately 19% believed the initiative should be dropped completely, whereas a minimal 1.53% refrained from answering.
The Pheu Thai Party’s advocated scheme promises every Thai citizen aged 16 and over a one-time pay-out of 10,000 baht, to be credited directly to their digital wallets. This bonus is required to be spent within six months on products and services in establishments within a 4km radius of the user’s home.
Despite the vocal support, the scheme has been met with criticism, including from notable economists and ex-governors of the Bank of Thailand, who predict it may fuel inflation, thereby causing harm to the country.
Meanwhile, the Pheu Thai Party assured the public about the imminent clarification of the scheme’s final details by month-end. “The project’s basic tenets will hold steady, but it’s probable that certain details and conditions will be revised,” said deputy Pheu Thai spokeswoman, Treechada Srithada, shedding light on future plans.