Government defends top-up in latest Covid relief scheme

A 200-baht monthly top-up in the latest relief scheme for the country’s 13.7 million state-welfare card holders is “appropriate”, the Ministry of Finance said Tuesday.

The ministry was addressing criticism that disadvantaged people receive less help than other groups as they are not the actual cause of the outbreak, but are still the hardest-hit group, according to the Covid-remedy packages announced this month.

“The government’s packages are designed with different objectives … with different target groups and strategies,” said Kulaya Tantitemit​​, director-general at the Fiscal Policy Office.

From July to December, state-welfare card holders including vulnerable groups will receive an additional monthly 200 baht per person as assistance to their living expenses during the Covid-19 pandemic, amounting to a total top-up of 1,200 baht each for the six-month period.

Kulaya said people under the state-welfare scheme have received cash handouts since the start of the pandemic totalling around 11,600-11,800 baht per person, from the previous stimulus plans and Rao Chana scheme, and including the newest one.

Since 2018, state-welfare card holders have received an average monthly cash handout of around 2,000 baht per person even under normal circumstances before the pandemic hit, Kulaya added.  


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