Thai PM Calls on Rich Not to Steal Wel­fare Cards From Poor

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Thai Prime Min­is­ter Prayut Chan-o-cha has called on the rich not to vir­tu­ally steal wel­fare cards from the im­pov­er­ished people.

Mr Prayut said that those who may have a large house or a large plot of land of their own or a hand­some amount of cash at their dis­posal al­beit with­out de­posit­ing it at banks would not be con­sid­ered as the poor people and thus should not ap­ply for wel­fare cards. Cat­e­gorised as low-in­come earn­ers, an es­ti­mated 14.6 mil­lion people have been given wel­fare cards with which each of them can with­draw a sup­ple­men­tary 500 baht (about US$16.33) in cash for this month and an­other 500 baht for next month.

The tax­pay­ers’ money, handed out as part of the govern­ment’s 316 bil­lion baht (about US$10.32 bil­lion) eco­nomic stim­u­lus mea­sures, was pri­mar­ily meant to be spent in a prov­ince which is not the one de­clared in the wel­fare card holder’s home cen­sus pa­per to pro­mote do­mes­tic con­sump­tion and tourism dur­ing the sec­ond half of this year.

“Some rich people may wish to get wel­fare cards like poor people,

ex­cus­ing that they have no money in the bank. But they can­not be that poor with a large mansion or some land in their pos­ses­sion.”

“The rich should not ap­ply other­wise the op­por­tu­nity for the poor might be de­nied. The govern­ment does not have so much money for ev­ery­one to spend up,’’ Mr Prayut said. Ac­cord­ing to the Prime Min­is­ter, those well-to-do people, who may no longer make any per­sonal in­come or may not de­posit their money at the banks, would not be con­sid­ered by the au­thor­i­ties as im­pov­er­ished enough to be en­ti­tled to wel­fare cards.

He con­firmed that the au­thor­i­ties were look­ing to hand­ing out wel­fare cards to more people na­tion­wide on the con­di­tion that they ap­plied by virtue of hon­esty and be of­fi­cially cat­e­gorised as low­in­come earn­ers.

Thai­land’s Prime Min­is­ter Prayuth Chan-ocha.

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