Finance ministry to cut monthly stipend for senior citizens support

The Finance Ministry has proposed an austerity measure to slash out the monthly stipend for Thai elderly citizens whose monthly income is above 9,000 baht per month.

Matichon Online reported that Wisudhi Srisuphan, Deputy Minister of Finance, on Monday morning, 16 May 2016, told media at the Government House about the proposal of the Finance Ministry to withdraw a monthly financial support of 600 baht given to the country senior citizens.

Under the proposal, senior citizens with the monthly income of above 9,000 baht (about 255 USD) or assets of above 3 million baht (about 85,000 USD) will not be entitled to the senior citizen financial support.  

The Deputy Finance Minister said that it is currently only a proposal, adding that senior citizens who belong to the lower income bracket will not be affected if the plan is implemented.

He said that the state support shall be given to people who need it most.

About the plan, Pol Gen Adul Saengsingkaew, Minister of Social Development and Human Security, earlier on Sunday told Thairath news that it is still a proposal and he could not say if he agrees or disagree with it as yet.

Pol Gen Adul added that currently there are many senior citizens who have not been registered to receive the monthly senior citizen financial support.  

The 2016 national budget allocates 63 billion baht for the monthly financial support for Thai citizens above 60 years old. Currently, about 7.9 million senior citizens out of the total elderly population in Thailand of about 10 million have registered to receive the money.

About 20 per cent of the elderly population have not registered for the senior citizen monthly stipend.

According to Agingasia, Thailand is currently ranked the third most rapidly ageing population in the world. Citizens above the age of 60 years old are accounting for about 13 percent of the Thai population and the number to expected to rise to 25 per cent of the population by 2040.

With the economic stagnation and political instability, Thailand, currently a higher-middle-income country, will increasingly face challenges in maintaining its welfare system as the numbers of working population decline.

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