Thailand Consumers Council calls for restoration of universal pension scheme

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According to the TCC, the existing scheme should be improved rather than scaled down and said every senior citizen deserves a state-provided monthly allowance, allowing for a decent standard of living.

The Thailand Consumers Council (TCC) has urged the new government to reconsider a recently introduced regulation restricting certain elderly individuals from receiving monthly allowances. The council proposed restoring the universal pension scheme with an increased allowance of 3,000 baht per month.

According to the TCC, the existing scheme should be improved rather than scaled down. It said every senior citizen deserves a state-provided monthly allowance, allowing for a decent standard of living. The proposed 3,000-baht monthly allowance would elevate elderly citizens just above the poverty line, set at 2,800 baht per person by the National Economic and Social Development Council.



The new regulation, effective from August 12, only offers monthly allowances to elderly individuals with insufficient income to cover living expenses. Those already receiving allowances are unaffected and the rule pertains only to individuals turning 60 after its implementation.

National Health Commission Deputy Secretary-General Asst Prof Weerasak Putthasri underscored the importance of basic income for the elderly as a national priority. He added that monthly allowances should be a right, not subject to means-testing.



Meanwhile, Katikar Tipayalai from Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Economics cited a study revealing that over 90% of elderly individuals lack savings, with only 9% capable of covering five years of expenses – thereby making state welfare essential. Around 11 million people over the age of 60 currently receive monthly allowances, costing 88 billion baht annually. Elevating the allowance to 3,000 baht would require 400 billion baht.

Katikar suggested this investment could stimulate up to 600 billion baht in spending and generate tax revenue. She also recommended budget reforms and an increased value-added tax (VAT) rate for luxury goods and services to support the pension fund. A 1% VAT increase could contribute 70-100 billion baht to the scheme. (NNT)






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