Criticism for Improvement: Former Premier Abhisit Vejjajiva Shared His Thoughts over the Government

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Former Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has blamed the government for what he sees as a lack of change in people’s livelihoods given popular aspirations of providing a strong kingdom healthcare program.

Mr Abhisit made the statement yesterday during a seminar on socio-economic problems. The former Premier told participants that the socio-economic divide is growing, and the government needs to change its policies to resolve problems and enhance the standard of life for the people. He said politicians would have to see a social safety system as a constitutional right to create a welfare society, not a form of help, adding tax reduction policies were also essential to getting more money for the state.

The representatives of the nation will adjust their mindset and accept the values of a welfare state. He said the government would make use of the data it gathered through various methods to devise policies that respond to the needs of the citizens.

Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, a co-founder of the Reform Movement who was present at the seminar yesterday, said it is possible to establish a welfare state, but Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha ‘s government has no heart to introduce some people.

Mr Thanathorn said the “lack of expenditure” response by the government to the issue of introducing new welfare programs is a lame reason. If the government streamlines budget management and recalls “off-budget” funds given to several state agencies, a welfare state can be built and the social gap narrowed.

Mr Thanathorn, who has recently been appointed as a member of a special House committee to review the budget bill for the 20201 fiscal year, said the off-budget funds were estimated at four trillion baht. We Equal, a group which advocates transforming Thailand into a welfare state, organized the seminar.

The organization also released a study on the healthcare system and social policy through public opinion. The government has missed any program according to the party, earning a ranking of five on a scale of one to 10.

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