Low-income earners in Thailand are now less dependent on unscrupulous creditors or loan sharks but they wanted the state to help subsidise household utility bills, according to the latest survey by the National Statistical Office (NSO).
The NSO conducted the survey in collaboration with academic institutes between July 20 and August 18 from a total of 13.43 million low-income earners across the nation, 10.46 million of whom are officially registered low-income earners.
The survey showed that most of them, or 85.9% are not dependent on unscrupulous creditors or loan sharks.
Only 13.7% are dependant on unorganized loan markets.
Debts of these low-income earners or 10.6% owed to the unorganized loan markets are over 10,000 baht, while only 1.5% owed from 5,000 – 10,000 baht to the markets
Most of the low-income earners or 51% are farmers earning less than 30,000 baht a year, 27.8% earnings 30,001 – 100,000 baht, and 19% have no earnings, while only 1.3% earned over 100,000 baht a year.
On their daily livelihood, the survey found that 68% have their own houses, 25.9% live with parents, relatives, and only 3% live with friends, and at temples.
Daily household expenditures of low income earners, or 34.1%, are under 3,001 baht a month, of 29.2% are 3,001 – 5,000 baht, and of
15.1% are 5,001 – 10,000 baht.
The five priorities they want mostly from the state are subsidy for household utility bills (82.1%), reduction of prices of daily necessities (66.4%), lower medical health care cost (47.2%), and increase old age allowances, and lower school fees (30.7%).
The finding will be submitted to the government to work out appropriate measures to launch new welfare schemes to help low-income earners in the future.