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Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Wednesday said the government will compensate for workers affected by the coronavirus outbreak only one month from the initial three-month cash relief plan.
The government had already intended to offer cash handouts of 5,000 baht to temporary, freelance, and self-employed employees who are not compensated by the social security system for three consecutive months, beginning this April. Experts have claimed the plan could also be continued for six months, until the pandemic subsides.
But speaking to the media after this afternoon's Cabinet meeting, Prayut said the government struggles to find funds for the next phase of handouts.
"I feel sympathetic to the people and I am sorry," Prayut said. "I must accept that the government had originally intended to distribute the 50 billion baht budget for three months to support three million citizens."
He went on, "But because more than 9 million citizens signed up for the scheme, the government could only send it for one month to reach all eligible people." PM Prayut said he will recommend cutting 10 percent of each ministerial expenditure and bringing a 1 trillion baht loan bill into parliament to help top up support for the project.
He's not anticipating these solutions to come any time early however.
"The government must accept that we have only the figures to mitigate those afflicted by the COVID-19 outbreak but not the actual funds," said Prayut. "And we ought to enact a bill to fund people's aid services. Just don't worry, we're doing our best to look after the Thai people.