The Cabinet on 9 February 2021 approved an increase in school lunch spending, to be in line with the current economic conditions and higher prices of raw materials for cooking. It also acknowledged measures to prevent and tackle the problem of duplicate benefits among older persons who have received the Government’s living allowances.
Concerning the school lunch program, the Government will spend 5 percent more on school lunches for children from kindergarten to primary levels, starting from the 2022 fiscal year, which begins on 1 October 2021.
This means that expenditure for school lunches will rise from 20 to 21 baht per person a day. As of 20 August 2020, the school lunch program covered 51,637 schools nationwide, with 6.1 million children.
Regarding elderly allowances, the problem is that officials found that a number of older persons have received both their special pensions and living allowances, which is regarded as an illegal receipt of duplicate state funding.
Some senior citizens were ordered to return their living allowances to the Comptroller General’s Department, as the elderly people who receive special pensions should not be eligible for elderly allowances. This has caused trouble for the older persons who had already spent the money and could not afford to repay the state.
In this case, the National Committee for the Elderly recommended that the Government delay the return of elderly allowances from the senior citizens who have faced the problem of receiving duplicate state benefits.
It also urged the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security to work with other relevant agencies in seeking ways to help the senior citizens and set criteria in line with related laws to tackle this problem.
In this regard, the Cabinet acknowledge the recommendations offered by the National Committee for the Elderly.
Source: The Government Public Relations Department