Even people left unemployed as a result of the COVID-19 economic crisis who have paid into the fund less than six months in the past 15 months will be eligible for the benefit, Mr Suthi said, reported state news agency National News Bureau of Thailand (NNT).
After the funds have been transferred from the Ministry of Finance, the Social Security Office will provide each successful applicant B15,000 in support, paid out in three monthly payments of B5,000, Mr Suthi explained
“From statistics collected on May 15 this year, 59,776 people will receive compensation as a result of the Cabinet’s approval, which in total will require around B896.64 million in government funds,” he said.
“This compensation will not only help the people with the income that they lost for living, but also stimulate the circulation of money,” he added.
“This may create more spending and employment, and in turn money will come back to the government in the form of taxes paid,” Mr Suthi said.
Details of applying for the extended unemployment support have yet to be released,
The decision by Cabinet is a turnaround on reports only last week that the board of the Social Security Office (SSO) had opposed extending its relief compensation scheme to subscribers made jobless as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Also, Mr Suthi’s announcement will come as welcome news to many people in Phuket left without any form of income due to the economic shutdown brought on by policies to counter the spread of COVID-19.
Unemployment in Phuket is the highest on record and although allowed to reopen, businesses across the island are struggling to even cover operating expenses without tourists arriving in numbers.
Phuket Chamber of Commerce (PCC) President Thanusak Phungdet last week expressed his grave concerns that would result from a lack of government support for people left jobless by the crisis.
“Crime and suicide rates will rise,” he told The Phuket News.
As of last week Mr Thanusak had not received any response to his plea for the government to extend its social security payments for people in Phuket for another three months – a formal request he submitted more than a month ago.
The first three months of social security payments made available to people left without work due to the current situation ended on June 30.
At that time, estimates indicated that the fallout from the COVID-19 crisis may end up costing Phuket more than B280 billion in lost revenues. That figure has yet to be revised.