Pheu Thai vows to implement THB10,000 digital wallet scheme
The Pheu Thai Party announced on Friday that it would go ahead with its controversial election campaign pledge to hand out 10,000 baht to every Thai aged 16 and above, which it said was meant to boost the economy.
The party’s deputy secretary-general, Paopoom Rojanasakul, who is also the spokesman for its economic committee, said that a Pheu Thai-led coalition government in the making would implement the promised policy once it comes to power.
He said it was the party’s responsibility to keep its election promises as it was the core coalition partner.
“We also need to take care of the country’s economy and the people’s well-being,” he said.
Under the policy, the 10,000-baht handout would be transferred to the digital wallet of the recipients who can spend the amount at local businesses within a 4-kilometre radius of their registered address. The digital cash handout must be utilised within six months.
Paopoom dismissed the concerns of critics and experts that the massive handout, estimated to require over 500 billion baht in the state budget, would fuel inflation and undermine the country's financial discipline.
“Our study shows that the country’s inflation is now in control and this amount of money is unlikely to have any significant impact on the inflation rate,” he said.
“Regarding concerns over fiscal stability, Pheu Thai has analysed the pros and cons [of the policy] and we can confirm there’s no negative impact on the country’s financial stability.”
Financial experts, including former and current governors of the Bank of Thailand, had earlier publicly warned of possible adverse impacts of the massive handout on the Thai economy.