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Protest ends after allowances agreeing to continue resume

Protest ends after allowances agreeing to continue resume

A group of 50 elderly and disabled people staged a protest at Wat Banthu Sapangthong in Nakhon Phanom’s That Phanom district on Friday to demand overdue allowances.

The demonstrators held up banners and demanded the Tambon Nam Kam Municipality explain why there had not been paid their monthly allowances for the past two months. They decided to stage the protest out of fear there could be a repeat of 2015 when they say the authority failed to pay their old-age and disability allowances for several months.  Muk Saengsuwan, 83, said her Bt800 monthly allowance usually arrived by the 10th day of the month but she hadn’t received anything for two months.

She said she needed the money to buy rice and food and to put some aside in case she fell sick and needed to go to the hospital. Muk said she had managed to obtain some items from a grocer’s by promising to repay the debt when her allowance came out. “Two months passed and the shop no longer allowed me to take goods on credit,” Muk said, adding that many elderly people in her village had the same problem. Rattana Chaipairee, 74, said she had joined a protest two years ago when the local authority failed to pay the allowances.

Then the payments stopped again two months ago, she said, so she and her fellow senior citizens wanted to know why. That Phanom district chief Atichart Unhalekkha, municipality deputy mayor Suay Saengsuwan and kamnan Sanit Chanachon told the demonstrators the non-payments was due to issues at the beginning of a new fiscal year. The demonstrators agreed to end their protest after officials told them that old-age and disability allowances for 1,500 eligible people from 20 villages, totaling Bt1.2 million, would resume by November 18.

The non-contributory monthly allowances are granted to Thai citizens over 60 as follows: Bt600 for those aged 60-69; Bt700 for those aged 70-79; Bt800 for those aged 80-89; and Bt1,000 for those over 90.  Source: Nation

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