Thailand: More stimulus measures in store to drive spending

  • The government looks set to introduce fresh stimulus measures, particularly aiming to spur spending by middle- and high-income earners and boost private investment.
  • Deputy Prime Minister Supattanapong Punmeechaow said the new measures will be based on the co-payment principle and include the features of the Taste-Shop-Spend scheme, which involves cash giveaways and cash rebates, or tax incentives to stimulate shopping, as previously introduced under the Shop Chuay Chart tax break.
  • Details of the new measures, set to take effect in 4Q20, will be discussed at the meeting of the Center for Economic Situation Administration on 7 Oct 20.
  • Mr Supattanapong said the government also plans to extend the We Travel Together tourism scheme, scheduled to end on 31 Oct 20, until the end of 2020.
  • Launched on 15 Jul 20, the domestic tourism stimulus measure is part of the government’s effort to boost domestic travel, as foreign tourists are still barred from entering the country because of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The government subsidises 5 million nights of hotel accommodation at 40% of normal room rates, with the subsidy limited to THB3,000 per night for up to five nights. Tourists are responsible for the other 60%.
  • Subsidies for other services, including food, are capped at THB600 per room per night.
  • The campaign has received a lukewarm response. As of 29 Sep 20, the government reported just 1.5 million rooms registered for use under the scheme. The figure is far from the target of 5 million rooms.
  • According to Mr Supattanapong, the government will improve the scheme to help the elderly and ordinary people. If necessary, officials may also launch fresh measures to boost private investment through tax incentives to entice the private sector to buy more capital goods.

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