New welfare card open for abuse to buy booze and cigs, say officials
A top official from the government has warned that they have no way to prevent low earners from using their welfare fund cards to buy cigarettes and booze.
Although the money transferred monthly to their welfare cards can’t be cashed out, people can still use the grocery budget on the card to buy anything they like from the 8,000 participating discounted grocery shops nationwide, including booze.
The welfare cards will be distributed to 11.67 million registered low-income earners on Sept. 21 and will be usable from Oct. 1, Bangkok Post reported.
In new details, the cabinet approved a THB41 billion (USD1.2 billion) budget for the welfare program on Tuesday. People who earn less than THB30,000 (USD900) per year are entitled to receive a monthly grocery budget of THB300 (USD9) per month, while those who earn between THB30,000 and THB100,000 (USD3,013) will receive THB200 (USD6) per month.
Aside from the grocery budget, all 11.67 million people registered will also receive THB500 (USD15) monthly for local bus fares, THB500 (USD15) for interprovincial bus fares, and THB500 (USD15) for train fares. Another small sum of THB45 (USD1.36) for cooking gas will be transferred to them every three months, Prachachart reported.