Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin has announced plans to give 10,000 baht (US$275) to every Thai citizen over 16 in an effort to stimulate the economy following the COVID-19 pandemic. The government hopes this cash handout will inject over 2 trillion Thai baht into the economy. Recipients can use this one-time digital payment at local businesses within a four-kilometer radius of their registered address.
However, there are concerns about whether this cash handout will effectively address the country’s underlying socioeconomic issues, such as poverty, income inequality, and a deteriorating education system. There are also worries about the targeting errors of a prior cash transfer program and the potential negative impact on the fiscal multiplier. It remains unclear whether this digital wallet scheme can solve the socioeconomic issues Thailand is facing, including rising poverty and a stagnant economy.
Overall, while the plan to provide cash handouts to citizens aims to boost the economy, there are concerns about its ability to address Thailand’s deep-rooted socioeconomic issues. Despite hopes that the cash handouts will stimulate economic growth, it is still uncertain whether this one-time payment will be sufficient to uplift the country from its economic and social challenges.