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High-heeled shoes, bikinis plus 5000 Baht

Yesterday, nightlife workers took high heels and bikinis to Government House in a symbolic gesture to call for monthly handouts since their workplaces remain closed to contain COVID-19.

Representatives of Empower Foundation and nightlife workers gathered there to demand 5,000-baht monthly handouts from the government because their workplaces including entertainment venues, massage parlours, bars and karaoke shops were closed to contain COVID-19.

They said the government should offer financial aid until their business resumes.

Demonstrators displayed high-heeled shoes and bikinis to symbolise their jobs. They said they represented all nightlife workers, including waiters, musicians and bar staff.

They submitted a letter to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha through Sompat Nilapan, adviser to the office of the permanent secretary of the PM’s Office.

Opposition Move Forward Party (MFP) deputy leader Sirikanya Tansakul, meanwhile, questioned why the government doesn’t use the loans it has in hand as financial compensation for workers affected by its latest COVID-19 control measures.

She also accused the board of the Social Security Office (SSO) of abusing the Social Security Fund (SSF) when approving payments to workers affected by the government’s COVID-19 containment policy.

Since the SSF consists of contributions paid by employers, employees and the government, intended to ensure the welfare and quality of life of workers in the present and the future, the money should not be spent as if it is the government’s own money, she said.

The government has already secured 1 trillion baht and 500 billion baht loans, while the SSO has faced a budget cut of close to 20 billion baht in the budget bill for the fiscal year 2022, she said.

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