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Parties urged to help aged

THAILAND: Political parties are being asked to ensure the provision of an adequate pension for the elderly, according to HelpAge International in Thailand.

Friday 1 July 2011, 04:52AM

Only 11 of the 40 parties contesting the general election have highlighted social welfare for older people as a key policy – nine promised improvements to the old-age pension, mostly by increasing the current monthly B500 allowance to between B1,000 and B5,000 a month, according to Usa Khiewrord of HelpAge.

The Democrat Party was committed to maintaining the current monthly pension, which is only one-third of the poverty-level income.

Ms Usa said on Tuesday that Pheu Thai had no confirmed policy on old age security. The party’s number one candidate, Yingluck Shinawatra, had said while campaigning that if the party was elected to government, the old age pension would be raised to B600 for people aged over 60, B700 for over 70, B800 for over 80 and B1,000 for those over 90.

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HelpAge International concentrates on helping older people claim their rights, challenge discrimination and overcome poverty in Myanmar, Cambodia, China, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

According to the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 13 per cent of Thailand’s population is aged over 60, and it predicted that by 2020 18 per cent of the population will be over 60 and 24 per cent by 2030.

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