Govt must shoulder payment of allowances for seniors: NESDC
With the greying population increasing rapidly in number, the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Council is warning government that it must prepare for the rising cost of elderly allowances.
Predictions based on current population data indicate that the government will have to pay up to 122.81 billion baht in allowances for the elderly in 2027.
This is a significant increase in costs, which have risen steadily over the years, going from 76.29 billion baht in 2020, 84.14 billion in 2021, 86.82 billion in 2022 and 90.2 billion in 2023, and are projected to grow to 110.1 billion in 2024, 114.27 billion in 2025 and 118.52 billion in 2026.
Data show that over the four years from 2020 to 2023, the government paid an average of 170.087 billion baht a year for social welfare. Of this, 84.36 bn covered allowances for the elderly, 49.7 bn went on state welfare cards for the underprivileged, 19.41 bn on allowances for the disabled and 16.6 bn went to child support.
According to NESDC estimations, the total allowances for the elderly during the four years from 2024 to 2027 would average 116.42 billion, representing an increase of 38% over the previous four-year period. It added that the average amount for the allowances for the elderly would constitute 1% of GDP.
The NESDC said the rising cost of allowances for the elderly would put a tremendous budgetary strain on the economy and much work would be required to increase national revenue to offset the expense.