By The Nation
Suttirat Rattanachot, director general of the Comptroller General’s Department said on Tuesday that the department will distribute at least 3,042,741 state welfare cards to low-income earners starting from December 21. Recipients are the disabled, seniors and bed-bound patients.
They will receive a one-time Bt500 cash handout on January 1.
Cardholders will also receive other grants: a Bt500 monthly transport grant, Bt200 to Bt300 monthly for consumption spending (those with annual income under Bt30,000 will get Bt300), Bt230 for the monthly electricity bill, Bt100 monthly for tap water and a Bt45 discount for purchasing cooking gas every three months.
Those over age 60 who do not own their home will get Bt400 a month for rent expenses.
Those 65 years and up will receive a one-time grant of Bt1,000 to support their healthcare expenditures.
Critics have accused the government of using the Bt500 cash handout as a bribe to boost its political popularity in the run-up to the general election next year.
There are 14.5 million welfare card holders in Thailand.