Since PMPrayut Chan-o-cha has announced that 5,000 baht handouts are available monthly for “informal” workers affected by the Covid-19 crisis, contradictory facts, extensions, denials and general uncertainty have arisen. Leaving many Thais angry, leading to them storming the finance ministry in protest.
Yesterday, The PM offered a public apology for the government’s “miscommunication” and assured the nation that the government would do its best to help all affected groups by providing them with cash in the next 3 months.
He added, however, that if the situation eases within that period and people can get back to work, handouts may not be necessary.
“Please feel relieved,” the PM said yesterday, explaining that he had no intention of causing a misunderstanding, just to explain to the people how the government would secure funding.
On Wednesday, he said that the government could pay only 5,000 baht subsidies for the first month.
Only about 9 million of the 20 million people who applied, mostly freelancers, self-employed workers and small traders.
For the 11 million workers covered by the social security scheme, between 200 and 300 billion baht from the Social Security Fund will be used to fund the subsidies.
For the 17 million people in the agricultural sector, the funds will come from a phased 1 trillion baht loan.
The original announcement, part of the 117 billion baht stimulus package, included 3 months of payments.
This was later extended to 6 months, despite the overwhelming number of applicants, many of whom, it turns out, are not eligible for aid, including the nation’s estimated 300,000 sex workers.
The PM has repeatedly called on all members of the public to observe social distances and national curfews, to help reduce the number of new infections so that the situation improves enough to ease some of the restrictions, perhaps as soon as the end of the month.
SOURCE:Thai PBS WorldFacebook.
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