Stimulus package from the government ‘not equal or enough’

An opposition parliamentarian told Thai Enquirer on Thursday that the government’s stimulus schemes are insufficient, despite the Prime Minister’s claim that they are successful in reducing living costs amid the economic downturn.

Sirikanya Tansakun, a Member of Parliament for the Move Forward Party who also chairs the House committee on economic development, told Thai Enquirer that the government schemes have failed to ease people’s burdens.

“Everyone is affected by the Covid-19 pandemic situation, but people are required to have phones to register to obtain a proper quota.”

Sirikanya said she was wary of the government’s claim that the schemes received positive public response.

“People’s spending trends have changed in a positive way after easing the restrictions,” Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana, Government spokesman, told reporters at the Government House on behalf of Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-ocha on Wednesday.

Sirikanya said that it was not the appropriate time to boost the economy with these schemes.

“The co-payment or The More You Spend, The More You Get schemes are to boost the economy. But it should only apply when the economy is on the rise,” she told Thai Enquirer by phone.

There are over 41 million people who have participated in all schemes, including the co-payment, Ying Chai Ying Dai [the more you spend, the more you get], and the state welfare plans.

The stimulus package requires registration, usually via smartphone, something that has come under criticism from activists and the opposition as it ignores the poorest members of society.

“Everyone deserves equal welfare from the government,” Sirikanya said.

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