11 July 2024

There is no need for the government to roll out another phase of the 50:50 co-payment scheme, because the Thai economy is recovering, with steady increases in foreign arrivals and consumer purchasing power, said Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith at a seminar of chambers of commerce from across the country yesterday (Saturday).

He noted that, during the third quarter of the year, consumer spending increased, indicating that their purchasing power has improved, thus making it unnecessary to introduce a new round of the popular co-payment scheme.

He said that the Finance Ministry will, from now on, focus on addressing mounting household debt, which poses a real challenge for the government.

Thailand’s household debt in June 2022 accounted for 88.1%of the country’s nominal GDP, or US$418 billion, according to the Bank of Thailand

The finance minister said they are, however, developingeconomic stimulus packages to be rolled out as “New Year gifts” for the Thai people.

Next year, he said, the Thai economy is likely to be affected by a global economic recession, hence the need for economic stimulus packages to boost the economy.

Chairman of the Thai Chamber of Commerce and the Board of Trade, Sanan Angubolkul, said that the Finance Ministry’s decision to end the co-payment scheme is understandable,because the money to fund it comes from taxpayers.

He suggested, however, that the government must act urgently to attract more foreign investment, by easing restrictions, such allowing the foreign purchase of land for residential purposes.