BANGKOK (The Nation/Asia News Network): Paetongtarn Shinawatra, one of Pheu Thai’s likely candidates for prime minister, vowed on Friday (March 17) to provide monthly subsidies of 20,000 baht (RM2,600) for every household in Thailand if her party gains power in the upcoming election.
The subsidies will be provided as a cushion for households before the party’s economic policies generate more wealth in Thailand, she explained, saying that the Thai economy is in a crisis.
The 20,000-baht-a-month-per-household promise is not a populist ploy to win votes, but good economics, she said.
It will boost Thailand’s gross domestic product (GDP) and lead to greater tax collection, she explained.
Paetongtarn announced the new campaign pledge at a morning rally at Thammasat University’s Rangsit campus, where she, the party’s 400 selected constituency candidates and its core members announced a new set of key policies.
She leads the Pheu Thai Family project and chairs its advisory committee on public inclusion and innovation, and is the youngest daughter of Pheu Thai patriarch Thaksin Shinawatra.
“Pheu Thai is ready to lead Thailand to overcome ongoing crises, including poverty, war, and the pandemic,” Paetongtarn said.
The current government of Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha lacks the expertise to deal with the crises Thailand faces and worsens them, she said.
The subsidies are just one of three new policies Paetongtarn announced.
They will be given to households before Pheu Thai’s economic policies are successful, she said.
Pheu Thai’s latest pledge: 20,000 baht a month for every householdThe subsidies will ensure all families survive the "economic crisis" and ensure they have enough money to live with dignity, Paetongtarn said.
“We will provide money to families temporarily until our policies create a sustainable economic recovery,” she said.
The monthly subsidies will inject money into the economy and, as a result, the government will collect more taxes, she explained.
“This will boost GDP [and] the money for the subsidies will come from [higher] tax collection,” she said.
A Pheu Thai government will also develop blockchain technology to transform Thailand into the fintech hub of Asean, she said, referring to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
This will allow Thai start-ups and small enterprises to raise funds from investors around the world, she said.
Blockchain technology will also allow farmers to raise funds for future sales of crops, she added.
Artists and other creative people can also use the technology to sell their products online in every corner of the world, she said.
A Pheu Thai government will also alleviate PM2.5 air pollution.
The air pollution crisis is mainly caused by fires in neighbouring countries and Thailand, Paetongtarn said.
A Pheu Thai government will negotiate with neighbouring countries to control forest fires and encourage Thai farmers to turn post-harvest waste into compost for fertiliser instead of burning it, Paetongtarn said.
A Pheu Thai government will also reduce taxes on environmentally friendly vehicles, Paetongtarn added.