Group Says It Will Ask Political Parties to Endorse Welfare State

Welfare card holders wait in line Dec. 9 to withdraw 500-baht holiday stipends in Yala province.
Welfare card holders wait in line Dec. 9 to withdraw 500-baht holiday stipends in Yala province.

BANGKOK — A group of activists said Monday it will try to persuade political parties to turn Thailand into a welfare state.

Calling themselves “We Fair,” the group held a meeting to discuss their goal of introducing progressive income, land and inheritance tax and cutting the defense budget by 70 percent among others to ensure basic welfare for everyone.

The proposed welfare scheme would include 3,000 baht of monthly support for every child from birth to the age of 18, child care centers for all children from birth to the age of three and 3,000 baht of monthly support for undergraduate student among others.

Jaetsada Taesamak, a member of the group, said Thai society does not need patronizing cards such as those given to people on low income by the current military regime.

“We don’t want to be patronized… Welfare is a basic right,” Jaetsada said.

Other aspects of the proposal include 180 days of maternity leave for both parents, a 3,000-baht monthly pension for elderly people and a 3,000-baht monthly stipend for people with disabilities.

The group said it plans to petition political parties from Tuesday and will wait for their responses before updating the public.

Democrat Party, Chart Pattana party, Bhumjai Thai party, Commoner party and Future Forward party are among those that will be approached.